Monday, 26 September 2016

Hello............I'm Keith Moon!

If you want to teach English in Spain it is usually necessary to obtain a specific teaching qualification, in my case it is 'CELTA', an acronym, which means “Certificate in English Language Teaching to Adults”. 'CELTA' is probably the most recognised certificate and is strictly regulated by the “University of Cambridge”. With this in your hand you can teach in practically any languages school throughout the world. Other acronyms are: TEFL, ESL,  ESOL, ELT and TESOL. 'Trinity' also offers a TEFL course.

Education is a good investment, so be prepared to spend at least €1600 (2016) for a four week intensive course. Acceptance into the course requires a short interview, so brush up on your grammar.

What is the 'present perfect', for example.

During the interview I was asked to give an example using the verbs 'interfere and intervene'. Can you think of one?

The centre where I did CELTA suggested that I read one of two books regarding teaching English. I read both of them and to be quite sincere I think you'd be better off searching on the net for 'Task Based Learning', which is the teaching method that CELTA is based on.

There were 16 people in my course, which was divided into 2 groups. In the morning we had an opportunity to teach a class of willing students and in the afternoon we had lectures on teaching. In my case the practical side of the course was the most important. How the heck do you stand up in front of a class and teach?

All the time the emphasis was on TBL, “Task Based Learning”. With TBL it is necessary to plan a class with an objective, teaching the 'present perfect' for example. Photocopies and transparencies were used to help the class.

On completion I started to look for employment. I could have easily gone down the road to an English language school, but I don't get on well with kids, I was looking for something different. I posted my services in a 'free ads' site, and waited. I was eventually contacted by a women who did 'in company' classes, so I started giving 4 x 1.5 hour classes per week in the meeting room of one company and 2 x 2 hour classes in another. Believe me, 1.5 hours is pushing the limit on teacher and pupil.

Anyway, through one of the companies I made contact with another English teacher who was very well established and needed a teacher with a car. Through him I got 2 more companies and 7 extra hours per week. All of this happened in less than one year. Now I am self employed and have my own clients.

Self Employed - Most well-established language schools require that you have a university degree, any will do, and you are self employed. Here in Spain that means that you contribute nearly €300/month on Social Security and tax can be between 9% and 21% (2016). If you find work in a school you will probably have a maximum, if you are lucky, of 20 contact hours and be paid around €1200. By the way, this wage also covers student exams, pupils with problems, talking to parents etc, and your lodgings..........

One more point, books! Below are a few books, which are regarded as the 'English teachers' Bibles'. They are great for teaching grammar to your students, and yourself......

1. Elementary by Raymond Murphy. It has an orange cover and I have the Spanish edition, which is great.

2.  English Grammar In Use, Intermediate/upper by Raymond Murphy. It has a blue cover. I have the third edition, which is the same as the fourth and cheaper.

3. Practical English Usage by Michael Swan. A brilliant grammar reference.

4. Oxford A-Z Grammar And Punctuation by John Seely. A pocket size book, which is good for quick reference.

Apart from the books there are some great sites out there that can give you some class ideas and ready-to-go lessons. Have a look at my favourite sites on the right.

I hope you find my blog interesting and useful. Feel free to comment.

Hasta luego!