Teaching English in Spain can be a great opportunity to use your knowledge of your native language to help others improve their linguistic skills. You’ll both have an opportunity to make a difference in the life of Spanish children and youth, while you get to explore a new culture. RVF International will help you every step of the way to become an English teacher abroad. But what if you don’t know any Spanish? Can you still be a successful English teacher?
Whenever you travel, and especially when living in a foreign country with a foreign language, it is always beneficial to learn some key phrases. Depending on where in Spain you are and who you’re speaking to, the level of English will vary greatly. Outside of the bigger cities, a lot of people don’t know English at all. Therefore, you should know how to communicate in basic terms. For example, knowing how to order in a restaurant or ask how much something costs would be useful. There are different ways to go about learning Spanish. The good thing is that once you’re in Spain, immersed in the culture and language, you’ll start picking up words and phrases. After teaching abroad in Spain for a year you will be sure to have acquired lots of new knowledge.
When teaching a foreign language, the main goal is for the students to practice the language as much as possible. As a language assistant, you act as a support to the main teacher in the classroom. The main teacher is of course fluent in Spanish, meanwhile, their English level can vary. Having a language assistant in the classroom gives the students the opportunity to listen to and communicate with a native speaker, which will help them with their pronunciation. In one way not knowing Spanish can be beneficial. As soon as the students hear that you speak and understand Spanish, they will try to communicate with you in Spanish as they feel more comfortable. Faced with someone who does not understand Spanish, they have no choice but to put their English skills to practice. Consequently, you will make the classes more immersive. If there’s something the students don’t understand, they will also need to practice how to phrase the question in English. If there’s a need to explain something in Spanish, the main teacher can help. So do not worry, as a language assistant your job is to be an expert in your native language. In return, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to improve your Spanish skills, outside of the school.