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Need Advice!- Considering Becoming a Spanish Teacher

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by msluca16, Jun 8, 2012.

  1. Hi everyone,
    I am a college student in the United States. I'm engaged to someone who is from England and will be moving there when I graduate. I'm considering becoming a Spanish teacher, but from my research, it seems that finding a teaching job in England is extremely difficult. I will be living in Whistable and will be close enough to Canterbury, which I understand has a lot of schools.
    In the United States, language teachers usually specialize in one language only (especially in junior highs and high schools). In England, do MFL teachers HAVE to teach two languages? Would Spanish by sufficient to be able to land a teaching job?
    I also understand that I would not be considered a "qualified" teacher yet and that obtaining that status is not always easy. I've become a bit discouraged from what I've read on these boards regarding this, but I really see myself as a teacher and nothing else.
    I would really like the advice and feedback of teachers who are living in England and know the situation. Would I stand a change of finding a job if Spanish is the only language I teach? Is it worth the struggle that it takes to become a qualified teacher? I originally wanted to be an Art teacher, but after researching this more, it seems like landing a job as an art teacher would be even more difficult.
    I really look forward to reading your responses. Thank you so much in advance!
  2. henriette

    henriette New commenter

    1) Yes - you can easily get a job with just Spanish - there is a shortage!
    2) If you are cut out to be a teacher, it is well worth the training. You will need a degree (and to convince a University that you have Degree level Spanish if that is not your university subject) and then complete a 1-year post-graduate course, a large part of which is spent in a training school and which can be hard work.
    3) Whitstable and Canterbury are lovely - I did my undergrad degree there - lucky you.
  3. Hi, Henriette!

    Thank you so much for your response. I'm so happy to hear that getting a job in Spanish shouldn't be difficult.
    My degree would be with a minor in secondary education, so I would be a qualified teacher in the US. Would I still have to do the 1 year post-grad course?
    I'm very excited about living in Whitstable. It is so lovely! :)
  4. Hi
    I have just done a search on TES jobs. There are no MFL jobs advertised this week in Kent. I think you may find that you may have to commute to London to find a job.
    Traditionally French was the language taught in most schools. It is still more widely taught than Spanish. It is something that favours any candidate for an MFL job, because it makes timetabling easier. So only having Spanish is limiting.
    I don't want to be discouraging but on the other hand I am trying to be realistic. You may well have to widen out your search for a job.
  5. noemie

    noemie Occasional commenter

    Although to be fair, Otter, most of the jobs have gone by now, the only ones that will be advertised will be last minute things for September or jobs for January. But I agree that being able to offer French to Y9 (that's 14-year olds) would be an advantage.
    When are you planning to come over to the UK? If you can, I'd strongly suggest doing a short placement in a secondary school while you wait for your PGCE to start (you'll probably have to do a PGCE, but it's a really valuable year).
  6. But peninsular vocabulary would be easily acquired, wouldn't it? As far as pronunciation is concerned, do the exam boards really have the right to penalise candidates for a pronunciation that is perfect standard just because it's not peninsular?
  7. Geekie

    Geekie Occasional commenter

    Non-castellano pronunciation is fine, as long as it's consistent, but listening could be a problem for the inexperienced ear.
  8. Jeremyinspain

    Jeremyinspain Occasional commenter

    Take a look at the 'News of languages in primary' post for another angle on the issue.
  9. Hi Partaloa,
    Wow, your qualifications seem great. Do you mind me asking what part of the UK you're in? Your post kind of concerns me, as I would really only be able to teach Spanish. I can't really be of any other help, but I know I've seen a lot of job listings for a teacher of French and Spanish, so it seems like you'd be a good candidate... plus you can teach Italian. Good luck to you.

    PARTALOA New commenter


    Thanks, it's taken a long time to get where I am now. Whilst I was studying I also had 2 children !!!!. Initally I trained as an English Language Teacher (CELTA) at Durham University. It was here that my love of teaching developed. I went onto to complete my degree in languages (Spanish/Italian/English/Applied Lingusitics) and subsequent PGCE. I achieved QTLS in April this year. I ended up teaching Spanish and Italian as there was not a great demand for English Language teaching to Adults here in the North East of England. Now, I teach a couple of hours a week on a supply basis. However, it doesn't really get me a full time job in teaching. The problem is that I can't afford to give up my permanent office job to do temporary posts due to financial constraints. This unfortunately is where I lack the experience in state schools as I have only been able to teach in HE (Higher Education). It's a catch 22 situation at the moment. I'm thinking of moving abroad to teach English as there seems to more opportunities for English Language Teachers tham MFL (Modern Foreign Language) teachers here.
  11. I'm afraid I must disagree with this. I also
    have only Spanish and reality is if you look at mfl jobs on TES or
    elsewhere the majority of jobs are for French, or French and something
    (Spanish or German). There are Spanish only jobs now and then but they
    don't tend to be full-time and the ad often says that to be able to
    teach French or German "would be an advantage"
    It does but that's not really the point. The point is that seseo (or rather the lack of ceceo) impacts on spelling and this can make a difference in exams, therefore a speaker who speaks with ceceo is more desirable.
  12. templing

    templing Occasional commenter

    Like Spool, I wouldn't say that finding a permanent teaching post (in a decent school) with just Spanish is easy, more and more schools want 2 subjects. Nothing is easy in the current climate. And Kent is not cheap... I can only encourage the OP to fulfill his dream of teaching in the UK but it will not be easy, I've been told by American teachers (that also taught in England, via exchange programmes) that teaching in the US is an absolute doddle compared to the UK (and I can quite believe it!). But at least, as an NQT, you stand far more chance of finding a job than your average teacher who has several years under his/her belt. It is a funny system, many teachers are deemed "too old" (ie too expensive) at 30... Anyhow, good luck but be well prepared.

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