Although EFL positions in Spain do appear online at efl.com, most Spanish ‘academias’ will hire the majority of their teaching staff from ‘walk-ins’. This obviously favours the teacher who is prepared to travel and apply for jobs on spec. But if you are looking in advance, try the Spanish Yellow Pages for a location by location list of language schools: www.paginas-amarillas.es (academias de idiomas). You’ll find that some schools are well organised and try to hire their new teachers from April onwards, although this does not necessarily mean you will miss out if you haven’t got your CV in by then. Most contracts start at the beginning of the academic term in October, so several of our graduates have gone to Spain in September and been successful in finding work for an October start. There are also opportunities for picking up work in January when the new terms begin.
The quickest way of fixing up a job is to take the ‘door-to-door’ approach. Also see the advice of Jennifer Cross, of our former students in the Comments section below and you might find the guide to writing your CV on our site quite helpful here.
Once you are established and have proved yourself (after around a year of teaching) you should find it easier to gain a second contract, or you will be able to pick and choose your next position more easily. By then you may have gained enough contacts to freelance (teaching English to private students), which is more financially lucrative.
Again, you’ll probably find that Spain is a country where you will earn more money if you decide to freelance. Contacts and a good knowledge of the language will be important, especially getting started. But as with Portugal, expect late hours. It is not uncommon to bid farewell to your students at around 10pm when the lesson ends (although the hospitable nature of the Spanish will mean you’ll be invited out for ‘tapas’, which could go on well into the night!) However, unlike the Portuguese, Spanish students do not seem to have the good ear for the language and some teachers find it frustrating that student progress isn’t faster.
The cities are cosmopolitan and high-paced, so more and more teachers are looking for smaller towns where the cost of living isn’t so high. You’ll be teaching anywhere from 25 – 30 hours a week on a standard contract at an ‘academia’, but if you freelance then you can set your own timetable and teach as much or as little as you want to (or can afford).
In addition to your Global English TESOL certificate you will often need a degree and any teaching practice or teaching experience you have should be highlighted on your CV. When you apply for a job, ensure you highlight any commercial (business) experience or any contact with children.
For EU nationals it can be a slow process to obtain the necessary paperwork to live and work here. Although you can often start work quite quickly after receiving a job contract, the hoops to jump through are numerous, so it helps if you can find an employer who is prepared to assist you (and the better ones will). For non-EU teachers, the bureaucracy involved in hiring makes it difficult to secure a contract unless you have lot of experience. But it is possible and we know of some non-EU passport holders who are working successfully there.
Our recommended course options for Spain are:
We suggest one of these courses for this country: