Iain Carson

Teach Enrich Empower

Iain Carson - Teaching in Spain

I had gone through university. I had come out with a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in mathematics, operational research, statistics and economics. I hadn’t studied English or any foreign languages for years. I didn’t know what type of job to go for, but I knew for certain that I wasn’t interested in any of the stereotypical jobs which you might expect a science graduate to pursue.

After some thought and lots of research, I surprised everyone by signing up for the 120-Hour TEFL Certificate with The TEFL Academy. Without doubt, this changed the course of my life. The classroom-based weekend course in Liverpool, UK gave me an intensive introduction to TEFL, including many different strategies for teaching English immersively and even the experience of putting this into practice by teaching two short lessons there and then. After further training in grammar, lesson planning and resource creation, I submitted the final assignment to The TEFL Academy and was delighted to learn that I had passed the course with a Distinction.

Keeping the momentum going, I immediately started to search for my first TEFL contract. I found a short opportunity in Valencia, Spain, which looked like the perfect way to get a taste of teaching English as a foreign language, as well as living and working in Spain. I did have GCSE Spanish but had never visited Spain or any Spanish-speaking countries before, let alone lived or worked there!

Yet when I arrived, I took to the experience like a duck to water. In fact, I’ve found that I can get by easily with the Spanish I know and that, so great is the demand for English language abilities in Spain, that a great many people already have basic English and can help me whenever I become stuck. Despite the working long hours – from 9am until as late as quarter to 8 in the evening – I thoroughly love running the classes and especially teaching a wide variety of ages and abilities. I think that the students enjoy the lessons too; in the photos, they are still smiling after 90-minute classes!

“So far, my TEFL journey has been perfect.”

Beyond the academy, the three-day weekends have given me plenty of time to explore and discover Spain. I’ve found that there is so much to do in Valencia: walking by the beach, exploring the surrounding areas, and going to cinemas and museums. I have also found it easy to travel to other parts of Spain: the nearby Castellón, the famous Barcelona and the touristy Alicante. I’ve even spent one weekend just across the water on Mallorca!

So far, my TEFL journey has been perfect. My next step is to continue my journey and expand on my teaching experience. So … what will you do next?

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