Tutoring in Spain: What To Expect

Authored by:
Hilary Leslie

Hilary Leslie

If you choose to be a private tutor outside of your Spanish placement school, I commend you on your decision! You can develop your teaching skills, keep yourself busy, and have a positive impact on a new English learner. I still send postcards to my Spanish students so they have a fun way to keep up their reading skills. 

Now for the details. What should you charge? Are you qualified? Let's dive in. 

Tutoring students from your school can be a hit or miss situation. Some of my language assistant friends had less than ideal tutoring positions (with students from their schools) because:

  • They didn’t know the student before accepting the job 
  • They got pressured into tutoring for less money than they deserved 
  • They had a far commute to the student’s house 
  • They had to wait 1+ hours after school before they could give their lesson 

I tutored one of my students and worked at a language academy close to my placement school during my first year in Madrid. During my second year, I tutored more students in the academy and took on two more students from my school. The classes had 4-8 students whereas classes with my school's students were one-on-one. I had very positive tutoring experiences and filled up my afternoons with classes to advance my teaching skills. Not to mention earning 60 extra euros a week! How long should I tutor? 
A standard tutoring session is one hour. 

How much should I charge? 
When I was in Madrid, 15-20 euros an hour was pretty typical from what I learned through word-of-mouth. You should take into account how the tutoring session works with your schedule (Do you have to travel far? Do you have to wait for a while after school? Are you working with multiple students? Etc.) 

Does a TEFL certification qualify me for higher pay? 
Possibly! If you are tutoring students from your placement school, parents are probably more focused on the fact that you're a native English speaker rather than the credentials you have. All language assistants are required to have a bachelor's degree. If you find opportunities to work with university students or adults, you can advertise that you have a TEFL certification and use this as a negotiating factor. 

Tutoring on the side is beneficial for your teaching skills as well as your wallet. It's a completely optional activity, but highly encouraged by many past language assistants. 

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