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Newbie and important question about Spain schools

Posted: 09 May 2011, 17:11
by fernyperez
Hi everyone, lovely to be part of a TEFL teacher forum. I was born in Spain but lived from the age of 6 to the age of 15 in Australia. I´ve taught English here in Spain in various academies specially the two notorious ones that flunked, Opening and Wall Street, as well as company classes and small academies. I Left teaching around 7 years ago but I´m actually a bit sick of my administrative job and want to get back to teaching again. I don´t have the TEFL/CELTA diploma (I only have the Official School of English diploma) but what I would like to know is the following: getting that certificate, what kind of school are you able to teach at here in Spain? I know public schools are out of the question because you need English Philology degree and must pass an exam to get in. However, could someone please tell me if having the TEFL allows you to get into British Council, International House or some other prestigious school of that kind? I certainly don´t want to leave my administrative job which pays pretty well to go to a typical "neighbourhood" academy to teach little kids and get like 900 euros a month (which is mainly the conditions with these type of schools). If someone from Spain can shed some info on this, it would be very much appreciated because I want to know if it´s worth spending the 1900 euros the CELTA costs.
Thanks in advance for any answer!


Re: Newbie and important question about Spain schools

Posted: 11 May 2011, 08:57
by Briona
To teach with International House you will need a minimum of a CELTA/Trinity CertTESOL. To work for the British Council, in addition to the CELTA/Trinity CertTESOL, you would need two years' experience. I'm not sure how recent that experience needs to be though. BTW, I did my CELTA in Spain last year and it cost €1,300 NOT €1,900.

With regards to salary, you should know that Spain is a popular destination for would-be TEFLers and thus wages, even in International House or similar, are low-ish. (TBH, International House tends to pay less than the private schools). You are likely to earn between €800 and €1200pm after tax. I have just applied to some schools in Spain (all big-name ones) and the average salary of the ten or so schools I looked at was around €1,000pm after tax. If a large salary is what you're after, I respectfully suggest that the world of TEFL might not be for you.

Finally, there's the issue of nationality. I'm not entirely clear what yours is. If you are Spanish, you will be classed as a non-native speaker, and some schools refuse to hire non-native speakers.

Re: Newbie and important question about Spain schools

Posted: 12 May 2011, 17:38
by fernyperez
Hi Briona!
Thanks so much for replying. I more or less imagined the qualifications that BC and IH required. I meet the years experience (around 4 or 5), the only thing I lack is the CELTA. Yep, you´re right about the price, I was thinking about the DELTA which is 2,800 € which IMO is an exagerated amount of money. What is the difference between CELTA and DELTA? Are they recognised internationally? I heard the DELTA in some countries was equivalent to a teaching uni diploma (although not in Spain for sure).
What I never imagined were those salary ranges in them schools. That´s a very low wage now even for Spanish standards! I´m on like 1,450€ in my administrative job and I think even that´s pretty average! What a pity, I´d love to get back into teaching and thinking of moving to the coast in the future. Maybe 1,200€ wouldn´t be such a bad wage in the coast where things are a bit cheaper but I certainly wouldn´t leave my current job for 900-1,000€ (I seriously thought IH and BC would pay a bit more). I also read in a website that the spanish ministry of education was thinking of hiring native English speakers/teachers for classroom assistants. Gotta investigate more on that because for one I don´t even have the CAP, let alone the CELTA/DELTA.
I think at the moment, I´m gonna have to maybe get into teaching as a suplementary job because as an only job, I sincerily think those wages are very low for today´s standards, shame!
Thanks so much for the info!

Re: Newbie and important question about Spain schools

Posted: 14 May 2011, 04:03
by systematic
DELTA is generally considered a higher qualification after CELTA, but CELTA is not strictly a prerequisite. From the Cambs site:

Ideally you should:

- have at least two years' full time (1,200 hours) experience of teaching English to adults within the past five years
- have a range of teaching experience in different contexts and at different levels
- be a graduate and/or have an initial teaching qualification
- have a standard of English which will enable you to teach at a range of levels.

Centres may still accept you if you do not strictly meet all of these requirements but can demonstrate that you would be likely to complete the course successfully. This is entirely at your centre's discretion.

Learn more about it at ... delta.html, and and preferably approach some centres to see if they would accept you.

Finally, unless you can get a job in Taiwan, Korea, or Japan (Alex can give you more details), it is common knowledge that EFL eaching is not well paid unless you can climb the greasy pole to becoming a Director of Studies, but for that, you would almost certainly need a degree.

Re: Newbie and important question about Spain schools

Posted: 14 May 2011, 16:25
by fernyperez
Thanks systematic for all the info given. I think it def pays here in Spain to study a 4-year degree and become a public school teacher where pay is double than what TEFL teachers get. I´m sorry to say but it is not common knowledge that a TEFL teacher should get that pay. Come off it, that´s what I was getting at Opening English School 11 years ago, something like 1,000 eur net, how on earth can one imagine that 12 years later, supposedly prestigious british schools are paying THE SAME wages??! That´s outrageous, and I believe closely reflects Spain´s economic level. Come to think of it, being in Spain, those wages don´t surprise me too much. I might take up teaching as a complementary job because those wages are def not wages to live on nowadays. As much as I like teaching and as much as I´d love to change my job and teach again, I can´t change my salary for a TEFL one, at least not while I live in Madrid. I´ll have a look into getting the CELTA anyway, something I should´ve done years ago. I think it´s quite worth the money having a diploma like that, you never know when you might need it.
Thanks a lot for all the info, much appreciated.