I’ve been working in our Teacher Training Dept for many years now, interviewing candidates for our Cambridge CELTA course and answering the same questions may times. Naturally, one of the most common questions is about finding work. Many prospective CELTA course participants want to complete the course here with us in Seville as they are attracted to working in Spain (understandably :-)) but really want to know whether it’s worth doing a CELTA course as they fear that it’s going to be impossible to get a job.
Now this is where the irony lies – Spain has been experiencing a severe economic crisis for many years now, which has affected Andalusia particularly badly, yet more students are learning English than ever. The knock on effect of this of course is the more students there are, the more work there is for English Language teachers. “How come” many people ask? It’s twofold and quite simple really; the laws have changed recently in Spain and now many students need to have obtained a B1 (intermediate) level in English in order to be able to complete their university degrees, even though they may not be language related, and therefore there is often a big demand for intensive English courses and such like for students who only ever gained a low level of English proficiency through the classes that they received at school. The same applies for many Civil Service (funcionario) positions, particularly those related to education where a bi-lingual programme is being introduced into schools and those who impart the classes need a B1 or B2 level (Upper Intermediate) here in Andalusia, depending on the age of the children.
Secondly, English is now being seen as the language of employment in the private sector – many companies expect their employees to be able to function in English, some even conduct the job interviews in English, for positions which are so highly sought after. Furthermore, so many Spaniards are moving abroad to look for work and particularly to northern Europe, where a knowledge of English is essential, be it because of the fact that English is the mother tongue (such as in the UK or Ireland) or because it is the language of international business (other countries.)
So, yes, it is worth looking for work as an ELT teacher in Spain, but clearly your chances of getting a good job are greatly increased by having trained on a highly regarded and recognized course such as the Cambridge CELTA or Trinity TESOL (there are many courses out there which claim to be well-recognised and accredited, but you should really look into some of those carefully and find out more about the content, the experience and qualifications of the tutors, and the accrediting bodies).
At IH Seville we provide a job information service which sees us passing on any information that we have about ELT positions in the local, national and international market to our trainees, including information about jobs with International House throughout the world. We are also a sponsor and great supporter of Spainwise – http://www.spainwise.net/ We will be at the annual TEFL jobs fair there in Córdoba on May 17th, where you could have the opportunity of talking to and having mini interviews with ELT academies from all over Spain. Have a look at this link: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=715402055158951&set=vb.493596900672802&type=2&theater
Not only is attendance free, but there is also a shuttle bus run from Seville and there’s no charge for that either!! You just have to register for the fair and for the bus as it says in the information provided on the links above.
Should you go I’ll hopefully see you there, and you may want to come to my session on ‘Activities to wake students (and teachers) up at 4pm