With many postings available and no formal Spanish language qualifications required, the programme in Spain is open to a wide variety of candidates.
The Spanish Ministry of Education is interested in receiving applications from students and graduates from a range of academic disciplines. UK undergraduates required to take a year abroad as part of their studies are prioritised for posts however, there are still many posts available for those this does not apply to.
Language Assistants in Spain are considered participants of a grant funded mobility programme and receive a monthly stipend, rather than a paid salary with contract of employment. As such, the programme may not be suited to those looking to relocate to Spain permanently, or candidates with dependants due to allocation timelines and the need for flexibility regarding locations.
Am I eligible?
To be a Language Assistant in Spain you must:
- fulfil the general eligibility criteria
- be aged 60 or under
- hold a UK or European Union passport (those who hold only a Spanish passport are not eligible. Dual nationals in possession of a non-Spanish European passport are eligible and should provide details of both their passports on the application form).
* Proficiency in Spanish is not required, in order to apply or receive a post. However, applicants are strongly recommended and encouraged to learn or improve their Spanish before departure as this will ease the transition of moving abroad. Successful applicants will be required to carry out administrative tasks in Spanish before and upon arrival in Spain and your allocated school may not be able to support with this. The British Council will not be able to assist in translating or aiding with tasks or paperwork in Spanish.
When do placements start?
Posts in Spain will run from 01 October 2023 until 31 May 2024, except for Comunidad de Madrid posts which run until 30 June 2024.
How many hours will I work?
Language Assistants in Spain work approximately 14-16 hours per week depending on the post.
This will be confirmed in the nombramiento (appointment letter, similar to a contract) which successful Language Assistants will receive directly from the Spanish authorities May-August 2023. Your timetable will be provided to you directly by your school(s) upon arrival. Indicative information on the number hours worked by region is also available in the menu below.
What type of institution will I be working in?
There are posts available in Spanish secondary schools, primary schools and state language schools (Escuelas Oficiales de Idiomas, for adult learners). You may be working across more than one institution in the local area.
Many schools in Spain have prominent Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) programmes, in which they teach a variety of subjects in English, including maths, science, history, geography, art, music and physical education. You should therefore be prepared to help with English activities in a range of subject areas.
Where can I go?
Posts are available in all Spanish regions. The British Council works with our partners at the Spanish Ministry of Education to allocate each candidate to a region of Spain. We encourage all applicants to express regional preferences in their application to inform our decisions.
You can choose one regional preference from Group A, one from Group B, and a final preference from any of the three groups. We have provided some information about each region in the menu below. Candidates are strongly encouraged to conduct their own research before selecting regional preferences as no changes can be made once an application has been submitted.
It is not always possible to allocate applicants to one of their preferred regions. Due to the nature of the programme, applicants should generally be prepared to be allocated to a region which does not match their preferences. Although preferences will be taken into consideration, please note that they are not guaranteed.
In your application you can also state preferences for environment (city, town, rural) as well as which age group you would prefer to teach. The Spanish Ministry of Education share this with the regional education authority in your allocated region, who then match each Language Assistant with institution(s) in their region.
The areas listed in the group information below refer to regions and not towns or cities, although they may share the same name (e.g., Valencia, Madrid). While you can specify a preference for a particular environment, it is not possible to apply to a specific city or district within a given region e.g., specifying Barcelona if choosing Cataluña as your regional preference. Preferences are not guaranteed to be met and you may be allocated a placement that does not meet your preferences.
If you already live in Spain, please note that due to the way applications are prioritised it is unlikely you will be offered a placement in or near the area where you live. Read more under the ‘Who is the programme aimed at?’ heading on the eligibility criteria page.
Many posts in Spain are in small towns and villages. It is important that the British Council and Spanish Ministry of Education allocate assistants to rural as well as more urban institutions as pupils in both settings deserve the opportunity to benefit from exposure to other cultures and language learning.
In certain regions of Spain, there are cultural and religious sensitivities regarding the wearing of religious clothing and clothing that conceals the face. In some schools in the region of Melilla, wearing a burka is discouraged - although this is not true of all schools. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us, and we will try to ensure that you are allocated to a suitable school.
If you have a specific preference for a particular region or environment relating to protected characteristics or you have support requirements, please tell us in your application. Refer to the Apply page or contact LanguageAssistants.UK@BritishCouncil.org for more information.