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Spain. Teaching in UK with Spanish master. Help!!

Discussion in 'Teaching abroad' started by Pablois, Dec 2, 2019.

  1. Pablois

    Pablois New commenter

    Hi everyone,

    I really need help with this one.

    I studied Advertising and Public Relations as a degree back in the days in my country, Spain. I also studied a Master in teaching for secondary school there ( specialised in History of the arts; as per my degree I had to choose between Literature or History, not having studied a particular degree to teach a subject on a primary or secondary school). I am thinking to convert my degree to the equivalent in the UK and was also thinking to study a PGCE to be able to teach Spanish, as this is my mother tongue and would be much easier for me to teach than any other subject.

    Knowing my situation, I would like to know firstly if I could decide to teach Spanish to a primary or secondary level. Is it possible to teach Spanish as a subject in a primary school or the only way of teaching there is to go through all the common general subjects for those years?. Secondly, would it be possible to teach Spanish after a PGCE/QTS at any level even if my degree is not linked to that? ( in Spain this would be possible if taking and preparing the so called “Oposiciones” national exams).

    Does anyone know how this work in the UK?. Can someone help me, knowing my situation, with the steps to follow and how could I achieve to get into teaching Spanish at any level in the UK?.

    Another question, if I apply and go through the PGCE, would it be possible to teach the common subjects in a primary school and use these ones in the future to teach in Spain if I would like to come back to my country?.

    Thank you so much to all of you for your answers. All the best. Pablo
  2. spanboy

    spanboy Occasional commenter

    @Pablois - you might want to post this is in the 'Overseas-Trained Teachers' forum too?
  3. colacao17

    colacao17 Senior commenter

    Hi Pablo

    In official terms, this should be perfectly possible. Your EU qualification should be convalidible and valid in the UK (though what will happen after Brexit I don't know) and in England, as I understand it, a teaching qualification is just that, - it doesn't specify any particular specialist subject.
    Less certain is getting job offers - I remember one poster on here in a similar situation (a long time ago( saying that his interview feedback was that 'the children wouldn't understand his accent' as though his perfect spanish/french/whatever accent was a negative rather than a positive. But I suppose there is prejudice all over and there'll be just as many HTs who would be happy to have a native speaker. This might be more the case in independent (private) schools, so don't leave them out of your reckoning.

    So, get the paperwork sorted first, then start applying. You will need a registration with what used to be called the GTC and is now, I think, the DfE - for that you'll need your ualification and a clean police check.

    For specific points - it's unlikely you could teach just spanish at primary. However, some independent schools cover from Y1-Y13 so you might get chance to do a bit of both. Another possibility is teaching across several primaries in a group of schools., Try asking on the MFL page to see what teachers there have experienced.

    Good luck, I hope it works out for you
  4. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter


    The only difficulty I forsee for you, in terms of taking the PGCE route, is that the vast majority of Modern Foreign Language courses expect you to be able to teach two languages (e.g. French & Spanish, German & Spanish, etc). Do you speak another language? (It doesn't need to be at C2 level; - you could probably get away with a B2 level if you are just teaching 11 to 14 year olds.) Job-wise, however, there will be plenty of schools out there happy to hire you as purely a Spanish teacher.

    If you get your degree covalidated, then you will be qualified as a History teacher. Perhaps some schools might also be happy to use you as a Spanish teacher as well, but that'll be up to them.

    However, as you may well be aware already, there is a massive difference between the teaching style a Spanish Masters trains you to use, and the teaching style a PGCE trains you to use. [I'm currently doing some teacher training at a Spanish-school which wants to bring in aspects of the British curriculum.] This difference would put you at a disadvantage in job interviews and in an English classroom, where students will not be used to the facts-based, test-heavy Spanish-teaching style.

    Buena suerte.
  5. MrMedia

    MrMedia Star commenter

    As a PGCE course leader I can tell you that yes, you can do this.

    There is no requirement for you to teach two languages. That course is MFL PGCE. You can do the PGCE Spanish and that would be fine. Your degree would be fine as well. You would need to prove equivalency for GCSE English and Maths.

    There really isn’t much scope for teaching Spanish to primary. You could do a primary PGCE and that would enable you to specialise in Spanish at primary.

    Probably I should say that whilst you don’t need another language, this limits your employability. The likelihood is part time work. Offering a second language would enhance your employability. You could do a 20 week SKE in French before taking the PGCE. That would be good advice. You could certainly find the work you want in the area you want, but the opportunities are limited compared to taking a more employable route.
  6. tb9605

    tb9605 Established commenter

    Ah... there you go. I stand corrected.

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