Is the demand for English falling in Spain?

Are us English teachers doomed in Spain? Has the time come for us to hang up our board pens and become real teachers back home, and escape before we get caught up in this Brexit lark?

How many of these could us English teachers fill? Photo by Neticola

I read an interesting article in the EL Gazette titled Spain sees fall in language learning. The headline did scare me a little, but I guess it’s nothing that I didn’t already know.

I still remember having a conversation with a student a few years back who said that Spain was heading for a recession. It was just before they won the Euros in 2008, and I was quite miffed when he told me this crisis was coming our way. I didn’t actually believe him. Indeed, just a year later, things started to go a bit Pete Tong.

Demand for English has definitely fallen in some respects. A lot of people just can’t afford to send their kids to extra English classes, so they make do with the terrible level in the public schools. But, saying that, other people, mainly older teenagers, University Graduates, and public school teachers, have had to fork out and pay for English classes in order to get the required B1 or even B2 level, which they now need to graduate, or even continue in employment as is the case for public school teachers. So there has been a massive boom in people desperate to get an English qualification.

I agree with what the article says though. The bubble is definitely less bouncy than it was, but I don’t think there’s anything to worry about. Firstly, the level of English in the public schools in Spain is still very poor. It seems that most teachers just don’t do any speaking activities with their students, which I just can’t get my head round, because speaking takes up about 70% of my classes.

As long as the level of English in public schools is low, there will always be a demand in private academies. It’ll rise and fall, depending on the state of the market, and also the need in each city and region. I heard that the average level of English in Madrid and Barcelona is B2, whereas here in Sevilla the norm now is B1, but that’s getting higher each year.

So I don’t think we’re in trouble. Spanish people will always need to improve their level of English as it’s becoming more and more important. Personally, the company I work for has grown a lot over the last few years, there have been peaks and troughs, but generally the market is buzzing and there are a lot of young students still coming through in need of gaining a qualification.

Good luck to them, that’s what I say. If only it was the same back in the U.K. where all University Graduates were made to get to a decent level in another language. Open your mind people…learning another language is excellent for you!

What do you think? Do you think the bubble has burst in Spain? Should ESL teachers start fleeing on horse and carts?


Top Spain and Expat blogs: Brexit in Spain, food to try before you die, and Eurovision 2017.

Here’s this months top blogs I’ve read about life in Spain and being an expat.

Jamoncito bueno…Photo by Andrea Terzini

Food you should try before you…

Die. Or maybe just in a weekend while you’re on holiday. Check out this article on Matador Network titled 11 food experiences you should have in Spain before you die.

Brexit affecting Spain?

Not really according to this article on The Local ES which states that Brits still love Spain, and so they should!

A picture paints a thousand words

I usually browse a few pictures of Spain before I write, just for some inspiration. So, check out this post on Doran Erickson Photography which has a great selection of photos of Spain from December 2016 to January 2017.

Being an Expat

There’s an interesting post by Mariana on Life with an Italian about What no one told her about being an expat. I think every expat could relate to her experiences in one way or another.

Spain in Eurovision 2017

My god, it’s already here. Have a look at this post of you’re a Eurovision fan for the possible candidates for Spain’s song. I’m going for Mirela.

That’s all for this month. Cheers.




Poor Spanish Kids…and why you should see the Cabalgatas!

I feel sorry for Spanish kids. They break up for Christmas around about the 20th of December, and have to wait almost 3 weeks until they get their presents on the Dia de los Reyes Magos, which falls on the 6th of January.

Give us a sweet, mate! Photo by alqalat

Imagine having to wait that long during your Christmas holidays to get your presents, not to mention the minimal amount of time they have to play with them before going back to school. It’s like being off from work during the summer, but having to wait until the last day until you’re allowed in the pool.

Some years are worse than others. This year fell pretty well for Spanish kids because they got a whole weekend to play with their presents before going back. For the last four years they’ve returned the day after, on the 7th. Trust me. I’m a teacher and have seen their miserable faces in my classes on the 7th , and it’s not a pleasant sight.

On a religious side, receiving presents on the 6th of January makes sense, as this was when the three wise men gave gifts to baby Jesus. This explains why they do it like the do in Spain, and also why they have the Cabalgatas. Continue reading “Poor Spanish Kids…and why you should see the Cabalgatas!”