English is not my first language. Can I still take the course?
We do not discriminate against non-native English speaking teachers (known as NNESTs) because we know that some of the best English teachers do not speak English as their mother tongue. Non-native speakers of English are often excellent teachers because they have a much deeper insight into the challenges facing English learners than native speakers of English.
Also, it is clear that English is an international language and is, therefore, used as a lingua franca between non-native speakers of English; for example, between a Brazilian and a Korean. In fact, several studies show that more conversations in English occur between non-native speakers than between native speakers and non-native speakers.
We actively welcome non-native speakers of English on the course, provided that you demonstrate a high degree of fluency and accuracy when speaking.
Do I need to speak Spanish?
Speaking some Spanish is a definite advantage if you want to live and work in Spain. However, we prefer our teachers to only use English during the observed teaching practice, as we believe that Spanish students need to get used to using English to communicate with people who do not speak Spanish. Having said that, knowing some Spanish does allow you to confirm whether learners have understood but we prefer you not to translate.
Do I need to have a degree to take the course?
A degree generally indicates that you are able to deal with the academic requirements of the training course. We do accept people without a degree but you may be required to take a test to ensure you that you have sufficient study skills to cope with the course.
I may not be able to attend the course every day. Is that a problem?
Yes it is. The course is intensive and you will fall behind if you miss the input sessions. We understand that you may need to be absent if something unanticipated occurs, but we need to approve any absences. We reserve the right to withhold your certificate if you miss parts of the course.
How do I enrol on the course?
Contact us first for a chat about the course and whether it is suitable for you. If it is, we can conduct a short interview to make sure your level of English is good enough to teach English and that you have the required characteristics and attitude to deal with the challenges of the course. If we think you are a good fit for the course, we will offer you a place and ask for a small deposit.
What do I need to do before the course starts?
After being offered a place on the course, we will send you an information pack, a reading list, and some pre-course tasks. These tasks need to be completed before the first day of the course. We will also send you regular emails about TEFL in order to build up your confidence so you ‘hit the ground running’ on Day 1. It goes without saying that you will need to brush up on your grammar and phonology knowledge before you begin.
Do you arrange accommodation during the course?
We work with local hostels, hotels and private landlords and will arrange accommodation for you for a small fee.
What is the course like? Is it really a ‘boot camp’?
We are not interested in making your TEFL experience an ordeal. Being observed and assessed when you are teaching is stressful enough without being subjected to an extremely heavy workload. We also want to ensure that you are in the right frame of mind to reflect upon your observed teaching practices. If you are constantly bombarded with new information to learn, you will get distracted from the main focus of the course: developing your practical teaching skills. It is a tough course but we don’t make it any tougher than it needs to be.
We believe that people learn better when they are engaged, which is why we make sure we deliver professional but relaxed training.
Describe a typical day on the course
As well as input sessions (lessons taught by us which will help develop your awareness of the English language and teaching methods, techniques and skills), you will also be required to work on a series of small projects, and prepare and give classes to real Spanish learners of English (Teaching Practice). Your trainers will observe these lessons and give you feedback to improve your teaching skills.
In the evening, you will be required to work at home (preparing lessons, reviewing your notes, studying grammar and phonology, completing your projects). The course is intensive and hard work but we do not want you to feel overwhelmed, which is why we strongly suggest you prepare as much as possible before the course.
What do I need to bring with me on the course?
Many academies in Granada and other parts of Spain are relatively low-tech: whiteboard and marker pens. We do not see this as a problem and many studies suggests that the hi-tech classroom may not result in more effective learning. We strongly suggest that you bring a laptop with you to each lesson as this reduces paper waste and allows you to search the internet for images, ideas and information.
Will I need to learn everything about English grammar?
You could spend 20 years learning about the rules of English grammar and this would not guarantee you would make an effective English teacher. We expect you to study the basics before the course and you will learn about grammatical areas and how to teach them during the course, but we encourage you to make any grammar teaching communicative rather than academic.
On the whole, we believe the Spanish education focuses far too much on rote learning of grammar rules and this hampers their ability to communicate effectively in English. We encourage you to create dynamic, relevant and communicative classes which engage the learners and allow them to interact in English rather than passively receive knowledge about grammatical rules.
Who will I teach on the course?
You will teach real Spanish learners of English.Spanish people are desperate to improve their English so there are no shortage of volunteer students for your practise classes. These students will vary in terms of their level of English which gives you the opportunity to work with a range of abilities. All of the students are adults and understand that you are teachers-in-training.
Many of your learners will not be used to communicative language learning classes and often express their delight and surprise at how much they enjoy their classes with trainee teachers!
How will I be assessed?
We believe great teaching happens in the classroom so our main assessment is based on how you teach during the practice lessons. There are a series of small projects and you need to pass each one in order to pass the course. We do allow you to resubmit coursework if it does not reach the required standard the first time you submit it.
What materials / resources do I get?
As well as the course handbook and the Short Guide to TEFL, we have a library of resource books (dictionaries, lesson activities, resource books, course books) which can be used to supplement the input sessions. We also have access to paid online resources. Remember though that we believe that the language classroom is an ideal environment for spoken interaction so we encourage you to create lessons that are driven by conversation and the needs of your learners, not by published materials. You are, of course, permitted to create your own learning materials and these can be digital or more traditional.
What will the other trainees be like?
Trainees range between 18 and 65, have a range of backgrounds, different educational histories, and come from a variety of countries. Many trainee teachers really bond on the course and we certainly encourage you to share ideas and help each other during the course.
What help do you provide with finding work?
During the course, you will learn how to write a CV, what to expect at interviews, and how to look for jobs. We are in contact with a number of local academies so we can arrange interviews for you. We can also help you find work in other parts of Spain and other countries.
What should I know about living and working in Granada?
Has the recession in Spain affected the demand for English teachers?
On the contrary. There is a massive demand for English teachers all over Spain because they recognise that speaking English is becoming more and more important.
How much will I get paid teaching English in Granada?
The pay varies between academies but most of them pay between €8 to €15 per hour. If you are offered a full-time position, you are likely to get about €1000 – €1200 per month.
What is the average cost of living in Granada?
Granada is one of the cheapest cities in Spain. You can expect to pay about €200 – €400 for a room in the centre of the city; living in a town (pueblo) outside the city may be a better option if you really want to immerse yourself in the language and the culture. They aren’t so many academies in smaller towns but there are fewer teachers so you can often find work.
How many hours will I be expected to work?
Many academies require you to teach 30 hrs a week on a full-time contract. However, many teachers work for two or more academies and offer private classes.
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