TESOL Market in Spain and around the World

Spain has an excellent TESOL market so if Spain is where you want to teach you should be working soon after completing the course. Even in small towns and villages, there are usually language academies. Of course, the greatest number of schools is in the largest cities. So let’s go and check out the TESOL market in Spain and around the world.

For example, there are over 500 language academies in greater Barcelona. Most schools want a teaching staff with a variety of accents to satisfy the requests of their students. We know the labor market in Spain very well and are also very familiar with the TESOL market worldwide. Therefore, we will help you regardless of where you want to work.

ESOL teacher pay in Spain ranges from about 10 to 16 € an hour. Although pay in the large cities often leans towards the higher end, lower pay in towns and small cities is often offset by the lower cost of living. Many teachers supplement their income by teaching private students and usually share apartments in order to contain their cost of living.

In Barcelona, it is typical for new teachers to take a few hours with more than one school in order to have a full teaching load as soon as possible. (Most people consider between 20 and 25 class hours a full schedule.) This is because schools will often initially offer a teacher new to the field a few courses to teach in order to see how they perform.

If the teachers perform well, the school generally offers more hours within the first few weeks or so. Another way graduates build up their hours is by teaching private students. This also takes time and effort, such as developing and posting up fliers and ads announcing your services as a private teacher. Part of the job guidance you will receive focuses on obtaining private students.

Some people take the course in Barcelona but move on to another city or town to teach. We will provide job guidance regarding whatever destination you choose. In terms of other parts of Spain, Madrid has a great TESOL market.

Valencia and Seville have smaller but good markets. Moreover, there are often positions in smaller cities, such as Granada, Malaga, and Bilbao, especially at the beginning of the school year or right after the New Year holidays.

If big city life does not attract you, there are charming towns with relatively good markets near the bigger cities, such as Sabadell and Terrassa near Barcelona or Alcala de Henares (Cervantes’ birthplace) near Madrid. These and other “bedroom communities” have small but healthy TESOL markets and are commutable from the larger city.

Small towns that are not near large cities also have language school. The best times of year to find work in towns such as these are September/October and December/January.

In terms of countries near Spain, Portugal, Italy, and Germany have excellent markets, too. Although Morocco has a comparably small market, there is usually relatively little competition for positions.

In other parts of the world, excellent markets exist in Central and Eastern Europe, especially the Czech Republic, Poland, and Russia. Unlike Western Europe, in some Eastern European countries, there may be work available in universities and state schools as well as in private language academies.

In the Mid-East and surrounding areas, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates all have many opportunities for ESOL teachers, especially for those who have advanced degrees and a few years of teaching experience. New teachers will find more opportunities in Turkey and, to a lesser degree, in Egypt and Tunisia.

The Asian economic “tigers” of Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan continue to have excellent TESOL markets, with China quickly catching up as it is in so many other spheres. Thailand and Indonesia have the most established TESOL markets in South Asia, but Cambodia and Vietnam are emerging as good places for ESOL teachers. In China, Cambodia, Vietnam, and Thailand, it may be possible to get university positions.

The best markets in Spanish speaking Latin America are Costa Rica, Ecuador, and Mexico. If a desire to be in a Spanish speaking country is not a motivator, then Brazil is a good place to consider, as the TESOL market there is one of the best in the region.

Africa is usually divided into North Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa, in terms of the TESOL market, and most work is in North Africa with the best opportunities for paid positions in Egypt, Morocco, and Tunisia. In Sub-Saharan Africa, work is usually either volunteer or for subsistence wages only.

Many of the former colonies of Britain use English as the language of instruction in state schools — for example Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. English is also one of the official languages of South Africa, so, English teachers in these countries are usually local citizens.

If you are a native of an English speaking country there are usually opportunities for jobs or volunteer positions at private language schools, religious organizations, non-profit programs that work with immigrants, libraries, community colleges, and summer “English immersion” camps for foreign children.

Universities in these countries usually require a Masters degree. In English-speaking countries that you are not a citizen of, opportunities would be few since you would be in competition with local native-speakers.