Meddeas Language Assistant Taylor Elton explains why working at Meddeas in Spain is so great! It’s easy to get involved!
When I first visited Spain about two years ago, I knew I wanted to return someday soon. Meddeas offered the perfect opportunity to do just so. After graduating from my university, I began researching opportunities to teach English abroad, specifically in Spain, and immediately gravitated towards Meddeas.
The program seemed like a perfect match for me since I could once again go back to my favorite place, all whilst teaching English in Spain and continuing my education.
What to Expect About the Application and Selection Process with Meddeas
I applied online through a straight-forward application, detailing my experiences of teaching and studying Spanish – although a high Spanish proficiency is not required, so I did not have to worry about my level of fluency. Once I had applied to the program, within a few weeks I received an invitation for a Skype interview, which went over the details of my resume and application, as well as determined if the teaching work experience was right for me. After, I was invited to an in-person interview where my interviewer was welcoming and answered any questions I had about the program. Although I was nervous for the interviews, all the members of the Meddeas team were supportive and spoke so highly of the experience that I felt at ease and excited for this new chapter.
Once I received my email inviting me to join the program I accepted right away – I could not wait to live in my new home and learn more about Spanish culture! Upon getting to Spain, Meddeas provided support while I settled in my new towns and adjusting to the culture, both in and out of school. They help with connect you to other Meddeas participants, especially those close to you, as well as finding accommodations and taking the necessary steps to teach English in Spain. I was placed in Jerez de la Frontera, a small city in Andalucía in the south of Spain. I had never been to this area before and was so excited to learn about an entirely new part of Spanish culture!
There I teach five days a week and participate in an online university course, through which I will be getting my Teaching English as a Foreign Language certificate, all through the program without charge! The course compliments teaching in the school as it prepares participants to handle their classrooms and brainstorm engaging activities and curriculum. The school that I teach in has such a familial culture, everyone knows everyone, and the students and staff are welcoming and friendly. I teach English classes to students of all ages, building a curriculum that strengthens their speaking and listening skills to build their conversational level. My classes are Monday through Friday, usually in the mornings until afternoon. In the beginning of the program the head teachers allowed me to shadow their classes, but now I teach my own to each year for an hour a week. I’m fortunate to teach students of all ages, from three to sixteen years old! Each age has its own way of teaching, I could be teaching nursery rhymes to younger students, then the next hour talking about social media with my secondary students!
Reasons to Teach English Abroad
Teaching English in another country has taught me so much about being able to adapt to your student’s knowledge and find games and activities that allows them to understand the language. Additionally, teaching many ages imparts flexibility on a teacher, since I often have to shift gears when going from one class to the next, trying to find material that each age would relate to and adequately comprehend. Hearing them use correct sentences or try new vocabulary brings a smile to my face as they progress throughout the school year. The students are a joy to teach, they love telling you about Spanish culture and find your customs and language fascinating. Building relationships with the students and other teachers is half the fun of the program but being able to experience Spanish culture first-hand is definitely one of the most exciting perks of the experience.
Learning about delicious foods, fascinating customs, and of course a different language is one of the most rewarding aspects of the program. Each area of Spain has unique customs that makes your experience all the more special. Another perk of being a foreigner in a new town is meeting people from all over the world, often there are other teachers who are from various countries you can connect with! Of course, traveling is a major bonus, whether to other countries or throughout different parts of Spain. As someone who had studied Spanish in university, the Meddeas program helps me grow in my fluency, especially since I live in a part of Spain with such a distinct accent. Even with a lower knowledge of Spanish, picking up the language while making Spanish friends or just doing daily tasks makes reaching fluency a breeze.
Meddeas has been such a rewarding experience as someone who wanted to see more of the world, while working in a job that I love and continuing my education. Living in Spain for a year has immersed me in an exciting culture, strengthened my Spanish-speaking skills, and honed my abilities in the classroom as a teacher. Teaching enthusiastic students and building relationships with other teachers is such a fulfilling way to spend your days in Spain, while getting to know the local culture. This program has definitely given me the skills to excel in whichever endeavor I take on afterwards, as it is such a unique and rewarding experience. Meddeas has been a great decision that I would recommend to anyone looking for such an exciting experience, it’s truly a great adventure!