You want to become a foreign-language teacher, and you’re thinking of teaching Spanish?
Spanish is already the most popular foreign language in the United States, meaning there are a lot of Americans who want to improve their foreign language skills!
Similarly, in Australia, with increasing migration figures from Latin American countries - as well as a deepened trade relationship with the region, learning how to read and speak Spanish has never been more in demand!
Spanish is a language that is especially essential for working in the international marketplace.
Becoming a Spanish teacher seems like a judicious idea given the demand, and also considering how fun it could be to give classes to a group of people speaking Spanish, having fun and learning new vocabulary.
How to Become a Spanish Teacher
What is the right path to becoming a Spanish teacher?
To become a Spanish professor, you have to follow a certain course in order to give yourself the best chance of succeeding!
Begin with a Bachelor’s degree in applied foreign languages before embarking on a master’s in education.
You will then have to obtain your teacher’s certification. For this, many schools will require you to have classroom experience, and possibly an examination, depending on the state you wish to work in.
What might you be tested on during your exam?
- Written commentary
- Teaching ability
- Speaking ability
As you can see, you will have to work very hard to be able to obtain a Spanish teaching position!
But this will open the doors to teaching in middle school, high school, and beyond.
If you would like to teach Spanish to students in higher education, you will need to have previous teaching experience, and in many cases, a PhD in Spanish language or culture.
If you have no interest in doing specialized studies or passing additional exams, but you still want to give Spanish classes, don’t worry: all is not lost!
You can still become a private tutor, by giving finding online teaching jobs or offering tuition at home.
It’s simple, you have two options:
- You can work for a private tutoring company
- You can freelance and advertise your services around town or online
There is no need for a diploma to do this, but your experience will contribute to your prospective clients’ confidence in your skill.
In sum: if you want to become a private tutor, you can without attaining expert level!
In fact, at the intermediary level you can help students on many levels:
- Help with homework
- Spanish grammar practice
- Mastery of important Spanish concepts
- Learning the basics of Spanish
However, even if no diploma is required, having a degree in applied foreign languages, in education or even a DELE certification would be a good way to attract more students.
Are you bilingual?
If Spanish is your mother tongue, if you are a native Spanish speaker and thus bilingual: your personal experience will be enough to make you a great Spanish teacher!
The language of Cervantes holds no secrets for you if you are bilingual.
Do you speak Spanish as well as you speak English?
Then you have the skill and knowledge necessary to teach Spanish to your students.
Are you passionate about travelling? Have you already taken a language-learning trip to a Hispanophone country? Have you thus reinforced your knowledge of Spanish thanks to that experience of total immersion abroad?
Taking language lessons and learning Spanish in Spain, with an intensive internship, is the best way to become bilingual, better express yourself, and guarantee your spot as a teacher without taking the traditional school path.
Spanish Tutoring: How to Find Your First Students to Teach Spanish To
Where should you look for Spanish students?
You have chosen to offer Spanish language lessons in person or online, but you don’t know how to find your first clients?
Try classified ads!
If you’re wondering where to place them, here are a few ideas:
- Local businesses
- Local newspapers
These are all good ways to get people talking about you!
If finding students seems difficult to you, why not join a tutoring company?
According to an investigation by the ABC, Spanish is the 9th most taught language in Australian schools. Given the large number of Spanish speakers around the world and in Australia, there seems to be a gap in the market for learning Spanish which is not covered by traditional in-school language classes.
If you are going to offer language classes privately, groups will pay more with a company than with a freelance tutor: on average $45 to $60 per hour. However, you will receive a smaller portion of this figure if working with a company as opposed to on your own.
You can also sign up for an online platform as a freelance tutor.
By 2016, the freelance economy in the United States grew to 55 million people. The freelance boom has continued to grow from year to year in Australia, too!
The advantage of freelancing? You are really free! you set your own hours, your own rates, and your own method.
The drawback? High taxes! As a freelancer, you must pay self-employment taxes in addition to regular income taxes, ranging in total on average from 25% to 30% of your annual income.
If you would like to create a beautiful professional storefront for yourself, call on a webmaster to create your own internet site.
A professional website will allow your future students, or their parents, to have more confidence in you!
How to Organize Your Spanish Lessons
How to devise a good Spanish curriculum?
To be a good Spanish professor is above all demonstrate your teaching skills.
Giving a Spanish lesson is not the same as giving a math lesson or an English lesson.
Indeed, language lessons require an optimal concentration on the part of your students to learn new words.
So how to proceed?
- It is important to be very organized: lesson plans, goals…
- Prepare your lessons: employ online exercises, internet sites, make vocabulary review cards… Have a work methodology!
- You have to be unique and interesting: plan fun lessons, use technology…
Why not read Don Quixote in the original version, or speak about the history of Spain to enrich the culture of your student?
In short: inspire in your students the desire to study!
- Speak Spanish! Your student should feel like they are in a Spanish class in Spain.
- Adapt to the level and the needs of your student. Opt for conversations or for working on the basics: contemporary Spanish phrases, grammatical rules, pronunciation, tone accent…
- Academic lessons or conversation courses: vary your lessons!
- Manage your lessons: time your lessons, offer an intensive series of lessons to address certain difficulties, give homework to each student to gain time before each lesson…
In each of these methods you will need to be creative, patient, and attentive to your students to become a good teacher.
Your students will be able to recommend you on the Superprof platform by leaving a review.
Setting the Price of Your Spanish Lessons
How much does a Spanish lesson cost?
- It all depends on several criteria!
What is your level?
Are you speaking at an intermediate standard, or are you an expert? Bilingual? Native Hispanophone?
- What is your professional experience? How does it compare to other teachers?
Are you a beginner or do you have a few years behind you?
Experienced professors charge up to 40 dollars per hour while a beginner professor charges generally around 15 dollars an hour.
- What is the level of your student?
Is the student seeking your help to prepare for an exam, such as the SAT, TOEFL, or for a class in school? Or a simple refresher course? Are they in high school or university?
- What will be the rhythm of the classes? A daily lesson, or only occasionally? A summer intensive or throughout the school year?
- Where do you live?
For in-home lessons: take into consideration the commute time and the cost of transportation (including gas).
With all that in mind, how do you come up with your rate?
Giving private lessons must be profitable.
So your salary (hourly rate) must be calculated taking into account all the costs you have to pay.