A Brief Guide to Why Spain is One of the Best Countries to Teach English in Europe

For those of you wanting to know the ins and outs of a TEFL teacher’s life in Spain we’ve prepared this short guide highlighting some of the major aspects.

High Demand for TEFL Teachers in Barcelona and the Rest of Spain

Hundreds of thousands of Spaniards take English classes, making the market probably the largest in Europe.

Demand seems to be pretty uniform across Spain, whether it be small coastal towns which live from tourism or the large cities.

Obviously, the bigger the population, the more English teachers are needed, which is why Madrid and, particularly Barcelona, offer the most employment opportunities for English teachers.

As Spain is such an attractive place to live, TEFL teachers have traditionally flocked here in numbers. Even so, in recent years the demand for English classes seems to be amply exceeding the supply, with English schools and businesses hard-pressed to find quality English teachers with recognised TEFL qualifications.

All things considered, there’s no question that Spain is one of the best countries to teach English.

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Employment Opportunities for English Teachers in Barcelona and Beyond

English teachers in Barcelona and other parts of Spain typically choose between working in language schools (“academias de idiomas”), in-company business courses, or giving private English classes. It’s also possible to combine all three.

Teachers who have just obtained their TEFL qualification and want to teach in Spain tend to start in the language schools or with the agencies who provide in-company classes as it takes time to build up a base of private students.

What Hours Do English Teachers Work in Barcelona and Other Parts of Spain?

English students in Barcelona and elsewhere in Spain fit their English classes around work and/or school/university. The English teaching timetable is very much conditioned by the Spanish working day, with classes typically being held any time between 8/9am to 7pm, with a long lunch break from 2 to 4pm.

As a result, most language schools in Barcelona start their English classes in the afternoon (5pm) and will often go on until 10pm. Adapting to life in Spain can be a bit difficult for TEFL teachers used to the Anglo-Saxon custom of having dinner at 6 or 7pm, but it doesn’t take long to get into the Mediterranean rhythm of life.

In-company English classes will generally be held first thing in the morning in Barcelona (as early as 7am, but usually 8am) or, more typically, during the lunch break (2pm).

Many English teachers also offer English classes online, teaching students all over the world.

This said, there are many options for English teachers in Spain, with plenty of flexibility to develop a work schedule that suits your personal lifestyle.

Language schools and in-company classes in Barcelona typically follow the traditional academic calendar, with the year starting in September/October, finishing in June and being divided up into 3 terms (trimesters). As with teachers the world over, English teachers in Spain enjoy generous holiday time (while Barcelona celebrates even more holidays thanks to its Catalan culture).

Most English classes will stop for summer (July and August) and many TEFL teachers then choose to teach at one of the hundreds of children’s summer camps which spring up around Spain – a godsend for working parents whose own holidays are much shorter than those of their children!

We should also add that Spain more or less closes down for the whole of August, as the locals head off on holiday. Outside of the children’s camps, there really isn’t much TEFL work during this month – but there are plenty of beaches and rural villages to explore!

Who Will I Teach English to in Barcelona and Other Parts of Spain?

Students of English as a foreign language tend to fall into two main groups: children and students taking extra English classes, and adults who need to use English in their place of work.

Whoever you are teaching, teaching English in Spain is typically an enjoyable experience, as the Spanish are usually an open and sociable bunch who participate in an enthusiastic and lively way. There are always exceptions, however, but we will make sure you have the skills required to manage every eventuality.

What Do English Teachers Wear to Work in Barcelona, Spain?

English teachers in Barcelona and other parts of Spain tend to follow a smart casual dress code, with chinos and button-up shirts for men and smart trousers, skirts, blouses and dresses for females teachers. Pull overs/sweaters and cardigans are also common workplace attire during the winter months.

Ultimately, teachers are expected to look smart and presentable, whether teaching in the classroom, privately, or online.

How Much Can You Earn Teaching English in Spain?

English teachers in Barcelona and other parts of Spain can earn anything between 15€ and 25€ per hour. This varies from school to school, while you are free to charge what you like for private one-to-one classes (online or in-person).

Many English teachers in Barcelona and other parts of Spain will work at a school and also offer private classes, amounting to around 20 to 25+ hours per week. This means you’ll earn more than enough to live comfortably in Barcelona and travel around Spain and the rest of Europe. You could also save money if you teach enough hours.

Ultimately, what you earn as an English teacher in Spain depends on how much effort you put in and how hard you are willing to work.

TEFL teaching practice with a real class of teenagers - with TEFL Barcelona in Spain

TEFL in Spain: Recruitment Processes

Wondering how to get an English teaching job in Barcelona or elsewhere in Spain/Europe?

In Spain, the TEFL recruitment processes tends to be relatively informal. Language schools may advertise teaching vacancies but more often than not will find new staff by word-of-mouth or from their existing contacts.

TEFL Barcelona teacher trainees can take advantage of our job guidance service and gain access to our list of contacts.

As a newly qualified English teacher, simply getting your CV/resume into the right hands will often result in a teaching job offer, if not immediately, then sometime in the near future.

When is the Best Time of Year to Apply for English Teaching Jobs in Barcelona and Other Parts of Spain

With the exception of the summer months, particularly August, there are TEFL employment opportunities in Barcelona and other parts of Spain virtually all year round.

The best times to get an English teaching job in Barcelona, Spain tend to be before the start of each trimester, with particularly high demand in September. However, English teaching job vacancies do appear all year long in Barcelona, and we can help you find them and make your application.

Where is TEFL Barcelona Located?

While our administrative office is in the cute Mediterranean municipality of Vilassar de Mar, all our Barcelona TEFL courses are centrally located in the Eixample area of Barcelona. Once enrolled, along with your study schedule, we will provide you with your precise classroom locations.

You are of course welcome to make an appointment to visit the school and meet your future TEFL certificate tutors.

Course and Work Testimonials

Deborah G. Watson Flindall – Complementos SL

“I would say that a very high percentage of the candidates from TEFL Barcelona came over very well in the interviews.

In general, your graduates do compare well with those of other courses, and for us, this is a guarantee of professional training. You’re doing a fine job!

Carmen Cidoncha, Head of Studies – BCN Languages

“As a Head of Studies at BCN Languages, I would like to state that TEFL Barcelona graduates show a great level of skill and professionalism.

In fact, TEFL Barcelona provides our School with a reliable source of new and qualified teachers: not only for their ability to be versatile in preparation but for their well-planned and intentional methods of teaching.”

Jodie Sclare – GetEnglish

“I have been working with TEFL Barcelona for some time now and often employ recently qualified trainees from their TEFL programme.

I have found their trainees to be reliable, enthusiastic and well prepared for the teaching positions I have to offer.

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