Why choose Spain?

  • Spanish was identified as most important language to the UK’s future in ‘Languages for the Future’ research commissioned by the British Council. This is based on elements such as use in commerce, tourism and on the Internet. It is widely spoken, as the official language of 21 different countries. 
  • Spain’s geography is amongst the most diverse in Europe, boasting beaches, mountains and national parks all within a relatively short distance of each other.
  • You’ll get the chance to experience a number of regions with their own unique cultures and even languages, such as Catalonia or the Basque Country.
  • It presents the perfect opportunity to visit other areas of Europe and Africa, such as Portugal or Morocco. 

Read about Kayleigh Heard's experience of being a Language Assistant in Spain.

There are Language Assistants posts available in Spanish secondary schools, primary schools and state language schools across the country. Many schools in Spain have prominent bilingual programmes, and assistants should be prepared, if asked, to assist in classes in other subject areas (such as history, geography or music) that are taught in English. Assistants working in state language schools may also have to work evenings.

Please note that assistants will be employed either by the Ministry of Education, or by their local comunidad autonoma. Assistants will be informed which type of post they have been allocated to when they receive their regional allocation email in May or June.

The general terms of a placement in Spain are:

Dates of appointment: 1 October – 31 May

Appointments to primary schools in Madrid are 1 October - 30 June

Hours: 12 per week. 

Salary: €700 per month net

All posts in Madrid are for 16 hours per week and the salary is €1,000 per month net. In some regions, the dates of appointment, hours and salary may vary slightly.  Assistants are advised to check these conditions upon receipt of their school allocation details from the Spanish authorities.

While undergraduates studying Spanish at a UK university will be treated as priority candidates, there will be a number of posts available for graduates as well.

Where can I go in Spain?

Posts are available in all Spanish comunidades autonomias (autonomous regions), including Islas Baleares and Islas Canarias, as well as in the autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla which border Morocco in North Africa. Please note that many posts across Spain are in small towns or villages.

Candidates for Spain may express an area preference.  If you wish to do so, you must choose one area from each of Groups A, B and C.

GROUP A    Asturias  -  Ceuta  -  Extremadura  -  La Rioja  -  Melilla  -  Navarra  -  País Vasco

GROUP B    (Islas) Canarias  -  Aragon  -  Cantabria  -  Castilla la Mancha  -  Cataluña  -  Galicia

GROUP C    (Islas) Baleares  -  Andalucia  -  Castilla León  -  Madrid -  Murcia  -  Valencia

The areas listed above refer to regions and not to towns or cities, even though they may share the same name. Candidates who are allocated to one of their three area preferences should expect to be allocated anywhere within the given region. 

Other languages are spoken in certain regions: Basque (País Vasco and parts of Navarra), Galician (Galicia), and Catalan (Cataluña, Islas Baleares and Valencia). 

While in most areas of these regions Castillian Spanish is widely spoken, assistants should be aware that this is not always the dominant language (particularly in Cataluña) and should do their research before applying for a post.

Please note that in certain regions of Spain there are cultural and religious sensitivities to bear in mind regarding the wearing of religious clothing and clothing which obstructs the face. This is particularly pertinent in the region of Melilla where the wearing of the burka in schools is sometimes discouraged. This is not the case for all schools in Melilla but it should be taken into account when researching your regional preferences. Please feel free to contact us regarding this should you have any questions or concerns and we will discuss your individual situation with the Spanish Ministry of Education to try to ensure that you are allocated to the most suitable school.

Will I be interviewed?

Some candidates may be assessed by telephone interview where areas of their application need to be followed up. These telephone interviews are likely to take place in February and March.

Will there be an induction course?

If you are an Assistant appointed through the Spanish Ministry of Education, you will be invited to an induction course in Spain in late September/early October.

The course will cover all the administration required for living in Spain and will give you the opportunity to meet other assistants of all languages.

Assistants who are not appointed through the Spanish Ministry of Education will be invited to an induction course in their local comunidad autonoma.

When will I hear back?

You will receive an email from us confirming receipt of your application by early January. 

In early May, you will find out if your application has been successful and in May or June you will find out from the British Council the region to which you have been allocated.

From June - August you will be told the location of your school(s) directly from the Spanish authorities. Please note that each Spanish authority (autonomous regions and the Spanish Ministry of Education) works to its own timescale and, as such, you may not find out your school allocation until August or September.

Staying on for a consecutive year

The opportunity to apply to remain in Spain for a consecutive year as a British Council English Language Assistant for 2015/2016 is now available. 

In order to apply, please complete the form below and return, along with your letter of motivation and a reference from your current host school, to the appropriate British Council office in the UK by Monday 2 March 2015. Full information, including addresses, can be found on the application form.

Please note that this application form is only to be used if you wish to stay on the programme for a consecutive year in Spain and you are currently an English Language Assistant in Spain through the British Council. Please do not complete this form if you are not currently a British Council English Language Assistant in Spain.