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How to be an English teacher in Barcelona

Written by Samuel

Teaching is one of the most popular jobs for English speakers living in Barcelona. With Spain’s economy continuing to stutter, many locals want to improve their English in order to increase their opportunities. As a result,  there is a ton of work for English teachers in Barcelona.

Finding work is not too difficult with thousands of language academies who want teachers, many of them independent or state-run schools who want language assistants and thousands of students of all ages wanting private tutoring.

First get qualified

The most importclassant qualification you will need is English. However, having an advanced level of English is not enough on its own and without further teaching qualifications you won’t be able to teach in a language academy, school or company class and you’ll be consigned to taking private classes which is vulnerable to sudden changes and cancellations.

The most common qualification is the TEFL, with courses ranging from €130 all the way up to €1000. Most employers will ask for a 50-hour combined classroom and online TEFL as a minimum which will set you back around €200/250. However, many employers will expect more, demanding a CELTA or Trinity CertTESOL which cost around €1500.

If you don’t want to pay this sort of money for your teaching qualification, don’t worry too much- there are plenty of places that don’t require these more expensive qualifications and are more than happy to hire teachers with a bog standard TEFL certificate.

Where to work

As I mentioned before, most people will work in one of the 100’s of language academies dotted all over the city. Most of these will advertise positions on LingoBongo, Tusclasesparticulares and occasionally Loquo. It’s also worth joining the ‘Barcelona TEFL Teachers Association’ and ‘Teachers who Teach Kids in Barcelona’ Facebook pages, which many employers use to advertise. Joining such groups is also very useful for keeping up to date with the teaching scene in Barcelona with posts of useful links and events such as the free workshops run by Oxford Tefl Barcelona. There are also many schools and businesses which will have positions available and these jobs are usually posted on the same websites.

classroomWhere to work really depends on what you want to teach and to which age group. Most language academies offer both children and adult classes with a greater emphasis on children. In-company classes will be teaching adults and will usually involve business English depending on the company, which means teaching slightly more challenging vocabulary. Have a look around and teach different classes so get a feel for what you like the most.

Due to the thousands of English speaking expats coming to Barcelona, English teachers are not is short supply. As a result, teaching doesn’t pay massively well, and you will struggle to earn more than €15-18 per hour for lessons. However, the alternative is usually to work in one of Barcelona’s many call centres. Teaching, in my opinion, is a far more interesting way to earn money. You’ll get the chance to meet new people, spend time with kids, have the opportunity to be creative and gain first-hand experience teaching. All in all, English teaching is a very interesting and rewarding job for any English speaker living in Barcelona.

About the author


Samuel Purnell is a journalism student living in Barcelona.

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