Of course, a good Spanish teacher is, most importantly, bilingual.
This will allow you to answer your students’ questions precisely and clearly.
Once you’ve achieved this (or are on your way to achieving it), you ought to get some accredited training to prepare you for teaching, let's get started looking at what that might be...
What Course of Study Should You Take to Teach Spanish
Firstly, we will tell you about the path generally followed by Spanish professors.
To begin your studies to be a Spanish teacher: get your degree.
Before beginning your career as a Spanish professor, you must, first off, have a degree.
The best thing is of course to get your degree in a subject related to the courses that you would like to give yourself later on.
For example, a bachelor’s degree in Spanish language (Applied Foreign Languages, LEA) or in Foreign languages, Literature and Cultures (LLCE). These are both excellent springboards before your master’s to obtain the right skills to become a Spanish professor!
After your bachelor’s degree, pursue a master’s in teaching
Once you have your bachelor’s (congratulations!), you can follow it up with one or two years in a master’s program. Years of experience are required to be a Spanish professor. And alas, years of dreaming and speaking in Spanish don’t count…
Follow these steps to teach Spanish classes effectively!
For example, some professors choose to pursue a Master of Education, Curriculum and Instruction (M.Ed.).
That adds up to a lot of abbreviations you’ll have to confront. But you will see that really it’s not all that complicated.
Become a Spanish Teacher for Elementary and High School
Once you have your degree, it’s possible to get a job teaching Spanish in elementary schools, middle schools, and high schools. How should you go about it? We’ll tell you.
To be a Spanish teacher at any level, you’ll need to complete a teacher’s education program to obtain a state-issued certification or license for public schools. Some private schools do not require this licensure. Licensing criteria differs from state to state, but generally includes a bachelor’s as well as an approved teacher training course, and a student teaching assignment, which generally involves working in a classroom under the guidance of a licensed teacher. This will allow you to understand what it means to run a classroom, work with students, and how to design a curriculum. You will also have to pass an exam.
In most states, the minimum requirement to be a teacher is a bachelor’s degree as well as a state-approved teacher certification program that generally focuses on curricula and fieldwork.
The higher the grade of Spanish you wish to work with, the higher the requirements will be. To get a job in a University program, or sometimes even in high school, you may be required to have a master’s.
Discover the many ways to organise your Spanish lessons...
So, if you would like to transmit your knowledge to young students, you must obtain a bachelor’s and pass the state-approved teacher’s certification requirement.
If you teach at a higher level, you will have more freedom to design your courses as you like. You will be able to come up with new intellectual and artistic exercises that you find interesting. You will be able to highlight your knowledge of Spanish language and culture.
And perhaps most importantly, you will be able to show students and parents the value of learning Spanish.
If you decide to teach Spanish in middle school or high school, as opposed to elementary school, you will be able to make your Spanish lessons more advanced.
Your objective, in middle school and high school, is to make your students, of all levels, fall in love with the Spanish language. No matter the level of your class (from 6th grade to 12th grade), you will be tasked with inspiring your students to want to develop their Spanish skills. All while teaching them, over time, the rudiments and specifics of the Spanish language.
To fulfil your mission, you will have access to numerous pedagogical training tools, such as Spanish textbooks, and audio or video recordings. In addition, if you want (and if your establishment permits it), you will be able to bring your students on field trips in order to introduce them to Spanish culture in institutions around your area.
To be a Spanish professor in middle school and high school will be especially appealing to those who like to share their knowledge of the foundation of a foreign language to beginner students. For all teachers in elementary school, middle school, and high school, the challenge is that your students will be starting their Spanish lessons from zero.
Every student is different and not all of them will be thrilled about learning a new language. They may say 'I already know English, why do I need skills in a new language'. However, despite this type of student, there is the possibility to help eager student, and even fellow teachers, to build new skills and even develop a passion for Spanish.
Note for private tutors: schools that offer Spanish classes are the ideal places to find students needing private or supplementary Spanish lessons. A great place to find home tutoring and online teaching jobs.
Become A Spanish Professor in Higher Education
What’s great about the profession of a Spanish teacher is that you will access to different levels of students. So if you have no desire to be a Spanish teacher in elementary school, middle school, or high school, you also have the option of becoming a Spanish professor at the university level.
To be a Spanish professor at a university, you will require a master’s degree, and in almost all cases, a doctoral degree in Spanish or a related subject.
What’s interesting at this level is that you will be able to go even deeper into Spanish culture, language, or literature. Indeed, at this level, the students should already possess the solid foundations of the language. And so you will be able to teach them more in-depth concepts.
Keep in mind, depending on the students, you should adapt your Spanish lessons
to highlight specific themes. It might be a vocabulary oriented towards business terms for a business school, or a technical vocabulary for classes of future engineers.
In any event, you will be interacting with young adults who are, generally, hungry to learn. Because they will already have an idea of their future path and since they will want to speak the language well, this part of the work will already be done.
It’s also good to know that if you are a specialized professor, you will be able to increase the rates for your private Spanish lessons.
Become A Spanish Professor: Other Paths to Think About
Writing this article, we have reflected on two other ways of teaching Spanish language and culture that are a bit outside of the traditional bachelor’s-master’s path.
Have you thought about becoming a Spanish researcher?
To teach Spanish in lower, middle, and high school, having a master’s in Spanish or education is generally sufficient. But to teach in higher education, you will need to pursue a doctorate qualification. Yes, an addition 6 years or so to become a doctor of Spanish language, culture, literature, or of education.
To complete your doctorate degree in Spanish, you will need to develop a new thesis that you will defend in front of a jury of specialists in your last year. Your thesis will need to be related to the fields of Spanish literature, Hispanic culture, or Spanish civilization. Your thesis will need to cover a precise genre, era, or question.
And why not be a private Spanish teacher?
Finally, if you’re interested, there is also the possibility of starting your own business and becoming a private Spanish tutor.
Find out how tutors in Australia set their rates...
To do that, you will have the choice of becoming a private Spanish teacher as part of a bigger company, or by creating your own company. Some Spanish teachers even combine the two. Each possibility has its own advantages and drawbacks.
Good to know: although it’s not necessary to obtain any specific degrees to become a private tutor, you will need to be completely bilingual in Spanish and English. Also, obtaining a DELE certification is a good selling point that will allow you to more easily find clients as you try and find tutoring jobs in Australia.
Now you have all the information necessary to become a Spanish teacher. From elementary school to the university level, take some time to ask yourself what your preference is. Your Spanish lessons will differ depending on whether you’re addressing beginners who have never spoken a single word of Spanish, or intermediary students, or students with a mastery of the Spanish language.
You will also need to organize your Spanish lessons differently depending on whether you have a class of 10 or 30 or 50 students.
And why not try out giving Spanish lessons as a private tutor? Full time or part-time: you will love it in no time.