You want to become a foreign-language teacher, and you’re thinking of teaching Spanish?
The most popular foreign language in the United States, that means there are a lot of Americans who want to improve their foreign language skills!
According to research on the linguistic skill of students, American students fall behind those of other countries.
Spanish is thriving in the United States. It 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 from the parents of students or simply because of the number of people who would like to add a value to their CV.
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
- Lesson plan and 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 lessons, 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 or in education 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 traveling? 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 tradition school path.
Find out more about how to take the DELE Spanish proficiency test.
Spanish Lesson: How to Find Your First Students to Teach Spanish To
Where should you look for Spanish students?
You have chosen to give 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 private tutoring company?
According to reports, the “supplemental education” sector is estimated at 5 billion dollars. The tutoring industry has grown more than 50% since 2008, with more than 50 franchised tutoring firms in the US. There is a veritable private tutoring boom in the United States!
Indeed, the cost of private tutoring is more expensive with a company than with a freelance tutor: on average $45 to $60 per hour, without counting the registration costs which can be much more.
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 the US, now making up 35% of the workforce.
And that's just in the US! Why not find out about tutoring jobs London or elsewhere in the UK?
The advantage of freelancing? Freedom: 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 give your future students, or their parents, more confidence in you!
How to Organize Your Spanish Lessons
How to devise a good Spanish course?
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 course 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 at the intermediary level, or an expert? Bilingual? Native Hispanophone?
- What is your professional experience?
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 course? A daily lesson, or only occasionally? A summer course or throughout the school year?
- Where do you live?
Yes, the rate professors charge depends on the city! In cities like New York City or Los Angeles, tutors charge in the range of $35 to $45, while in smaller towns rates generally hover around $15.
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.
The freelance workforce in the United States earned an estimated $1 trillion in 2015.
Clearly, freelancing is a real way to earn a living today!