Sassy and spirited, Madrid is just like a sultry Flamenco dancer – full of energy, passion and thirst for life. Teaching English here gave me an insightful peek into the enchanting world of the Madrileños and a complete cultural immersion in the typical Spanish lifestyle of Fiestas, Paellas and Cervezas.
Teaching English is one of the most popular and accessible way of setting up a new life abroad, be it Japan, South America or anywhere else in the World. Almost anyone can do it- as long as you have a moderate level of education and speak English as your native language, AND you like your language! Truth be told, many fellow English teachers I know in Spain do not exactly enjoy the notion of teaching, but it gets them by and gives them a fantastic opportunity of getting to know the culture and spirit of a whole new world!
It might sound a little too practical for you to handle, but let’s face it, only 21.7% of Spaniards speak English, they’re more than happy practicing the language with a young native speaker, than facing a thick old textbook. They love getting to know you and your culture, and you in turn, get to learn more about their Spanish roots from head to toe!
It truly is the best way of cultural immersion and even, finding more about your spiritual self. Through my teaching days in Madrid, I’ve gotten to know my students very well – from Professional Executives in their 50s to hip fashionable teenagers, some have become my friends and taught me more about life than anyone else could.
How to get started:
- Learn the language – It can get really tough not knowing Spanish in a country where pretty much nobody on the street speaks a second language.
- Book yourself on the next flight to Spain! – Nobody really looks at your CV until they know that you’ve already moved here.
- Brush up on your skills – Who can blame you for forgetting what ‘Phrasal Verbs’ or ‘Abstract Nouns’ are… Pick up the next Grammar book, and you’ll be on your way.
- Get TEFL certified – Not absolutely necessary (I don’t hold a TEFL cert), but definitely helps you get an English-teaching job easily. It might cost you US$2000 thou.
- http://www.cactustefl.com/ – Teach English as a Foreign Language certification
When to go:
- Anytime is a good time to go, there’s high demand for English teachers in Spain all year round, but peak period would be Summer.
- Summer camps – best time to seek temporary teaching positions in Children’s camps
- http://www.lenguaventura.com/ – Fun and exciting experience to teach and explore
- *I had the best Summer while teaching in a Summer camp for Spanish teenagers, based in Eastbourne, UK. I was lucky to get a generous remuneration and paid airfare, homestay and all meals.
Where to hunt for jobs:
- Pick up English magazines (InMadrid) in cafés and bars for listings
- Check out websites that provide potential job sources:
http://segundamano.es/ – the best online source for job ads – the Spanish ‘Craigslist’ http://www.mundoanuncio.com/ – everything from job ads to apt rental http://www.madridteacher.com/ – online English teaching community
- Contact the big-scale Language Schools in town such as:
How much to expect:
- The standard rate for Business English teachers are close to 15euros/hour. Try not to accept anything below this rate.
So now, armed with a bit more confidence, you’re all geared up to take this BIG step, what else are you waiting for except jump right in, to the extensive pool of English teachers in Spain?!