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Can you teach Spanish without a college degree?

From Jon, published on 20/02/2018 Blog > Tutoring > Advice for Tutors > How to Become a Self Taught Spanish Teacher

Are you lacking your states teacher certification exam?

Maybe you never went to college, and can’t even try to take the certification exam.

Nonetheless, whether you’re a student or someone older who’s learned on their own, you’re passionate about the Spanish language and dream of sharing your knowledge and enthusiasm with others.

There are several ways for you to teach Spanish, and the easiest is – become a private Spanish tutor!

Do Spanish language tutors have to have a bachelors degree?

Private tutoring services are not regulated by the government, so in order to become a tutor, there’s no strict qualification or formation necessary.

Of course, whatever your background, you’ll need to be able to respond to the needs of your students. You’ll need to have definitely mastered written and oral Spanish, and have experience and some skill for teaching in order to effectively help your students achieve their learning goals.

No need for a degree or teacher qualification to become a private teacher!

Depending on your own experience and expertise, you can decide what level and age or students you are able to help as they try to learn Spanish. You could focus on:

  • Beginners Spanish for young children
  • Private Spanish tutoring for high school students
  • Test prep to help high school students prepare for exams like AP Spanish
  • Beginners Spanish classes for adults interested in learning the language as a hobby
  • Specific subject focused classes – to improve oral expression, learn to write a letter in Spanish, or work on translation skills…

There are plenty of possibilities!

In every case, you will need the discipline to prepare your learning skills and program carefully for each students’ needs and goals.

Defining set objectives, such as working on vocabulary, pronunciation, or grammar, is an essential step for a tutor to help your students succeed.

This is also true for any other foreign language classes you might offer – Chinese, French, German, English as a Second Language (ESL), Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Japanese, Arabic, Turkish…

If you’re feeling uncertain about giving classes without a degree, here’s the best program of study to prepare you for a career as a Spanish teacher…

Become a freelancer or consultant for companies

Have you always hoped to become a consultant? It’s a very popular career right now.

In order to become a consultant however, it’s essential to be an expert in your subject, in this case Spanish, in order to gain business, but there’s no required degree or training in order to start pitching yourself out. It is possible to start teaching Spanish no matter what your education background.

You can create your own training company, or offer your services on a freelance basis. In order to work freelance, it is necessary to develop custom training programs that respond to the needs of your clients, and you’ll probably define the company’s goals when first taking on the contract.

Many multinational businesses need their employees to have at least a rudimentary knowledge of foreign languages. You could choose to offer courses in Spanish to professionals looking to move to the next level in their career, with a focus on business and formal language.

If you’re bilingual or grew up speaking Spanish at home, you can offer your services to teach business level Spanish skills

In this case, you’ll need to adapt your lessons to the needs of the business, and test employees to assess their current Spanish vocabulary and ability against the goals of their employer.

Have you already worked for a Spanish or Latin American business for several years, and now want to make a sideways career move to teaching Spanish in the US?

If you are bilingual in Spanish, you can offer a multitude of Spanish for business courses, to teach about Latin American business culture and practices, as well as the vocabulary and skills necessary to negotiate business deals in Spanish!

But if you aren’t bilingual yet, it might be a good idea to sign up for a few Spanish classes online before you start hiring yourself out! You could even consider online teaching jobs as preferable to at home classes.

What are the rules for non-qualified Spanish teachers?

Are there any laws or legislation you need to adhere to if you’re a Spanish teacher, but don’t have a degree or teacher certification? There are several options for you, all of which are easier to obtain then going back to school.

Entrepreneur running your own business…

The status of entrepreneur and incorporating your own business is one of the easiest ways to go about registering yourself as self employed.

Once you’ve registered yourself, you can keep track of all your expenses, and everything will be nice and clean for your taxes and administrative registration.

The advantage is that you’ll be completely independent and able to set the prices for your Spanish courses yourself. You can also run your new business at your own pace and choose to organise your teaching and classes in total freedom.

The key bit of admin will be registering yourself as a independent business for tax purposes. You can check the IRS for more details on how to do this and what it makes.

Being employed by a private household

If you’re working with one family at their home exclusively, than you’re actually technically employed by that family.

It’s a pretty simple status, your employers will just be needing to deduct social security and medicaid from each paycheck they give you, and declaring and making their own contributions on their taxes at the end of the year.

Even if you don’t have a formal work contract which ties you to the family you’re a tutor for, once you earn over a certain threshold each year from one employer (usually 2000-4000, but the IRS revises is slightly each year) social security contributions are required for both you and your employer, regardless of the legal status of your work.

Become employed with a tutoring or training company

You could also apply for a job with some of the many learning centres or training companies that offer tutoring and Spanish language courses.

It can be a more secure option because you don’t need to bid for work or advertise your services, just teach the students who are provided to you!

You’ll have a formal labour contract, and this type of business will also normally offer professional development and further training in order for you to improve your teaching skills.

Different learning centers and tutoring companies will have different employment models, and it’s worth working out what the different options are in your area before signing a contract. Companies will charge different commissions, sometimes as much as 50%, so it’s worth checking to make sure you’re getting the most competitive offer for your language skills.

It’s worth checking out the possibility of working for a local tutoring or language center as a Spanish teacher.

The tutors and teachers employed by these centers often varies widely. Some may be certified teachers with advanced degrees, while others might just be individuals with a passion for sharing their Spanish knowledge, like you!

What’s the typical background of a Spanish tutor who isn’t a qualified teacher?

Being a Spanish teacher without a professional qualification in no way means that you lack the expertise for the job…

On the contrary, you have additional experience to offer your students in addition to teaching them Spanish. You’ll have additional skills to teach Spanish that others won’t have…

Whether you’re offering private tutoring at home or language classes in a tutoring center, every teacher has their own unique background, experiences, and knowledge to share, with one point in common: a perfect mastery of Spanish.

College students

College students with a major in Spanish or another language often have an excellent knowledge of the language and can offer a range of tutoring services. Some of these students probably always have the intention of eventually qualifying as teachers and completing a Masters in Education.

Taking private courses with students is a good experience that can benefit everyone. Their tutees will benefit from students advanced knowledge of Spanish, and the students will be able to work on their teaching skills, psychology, and pedagogy.

Passionate about languages, they know how to motivate their clients to take them on a journey and enjoy their Spanish lessons.

Are you a Spanish student? You could give private tutoring lessons before you graduate! Why not try your chance?

Student teachers

Students studying to become teachers but who haven’t yet passed their state’s licensing exam or finished a Masters in education may also decide to tutor while completing their studies.

These individuals are often motivated by the idea of sharing knowledge and have a lot of the skills and qualities necessary to be an excellent tutor:

  • listening skills
  • patience
  • pedagogy

These skills are all a great way to develop a bond with their tutees.

They know how to address students’ challenges and can propose different learning methods that correspond to the needs and learning styles of their students, so they can master both written and spoken Spanish.

Native Spanish speaker

Who better to teach Spanish than a native of Barcelona? It’s not only their native language, but they also have the accent to match…

A Spanish professor should do more than just teach Spanish vocabulary and grammar. They should also share their passion for their country, culture, and history. Having a native Spanish tutor is a great way to learn more about Spain or another Hispanic country.

Students hoping to learn to carry on a conversation in Spanish before they go on a trip can boost their conversational Spanish and receive practical advice and knowledge which gives makes them feel like the journey never ends!

Many language students in college also offer tutoring services to earn a bit of extra money out of class.

The fact that they’re a native Spanish speaker can easily do away with any need for them to pass the teacher certification exam in order to become a private tutor.

Bilingual Spanish speakers

Have you completely mastered the Spanish language after several periods of time in different Hispanic countries?

Time spent using Spanish abroad, combined with your professional skills can be a real advantage when you begin offering your services as a Spanish tutor.

As well as linguistic skills, you can also offer expertise in another professional domain linked to the use of the Spanish language.

Know how to make the most of your Spanish skills and become a private tutor

If you don’t have the required degrees and certification to become a Spanish teacher in the public school system, there’s still nothing to stop you from becoming a Spanish tutor. However, it will be necessary for you to find your own students.

If order to reassure parents and companies regarding your language skills, learn to make the most of your own background and really sell yourselves.

A few backgrounds all give you the necessary experience to teach Spanish:

  • Some kind of school certificate reflecting Spanish language study (a minor in college, the standardized DELE test)
  • A presentation of your personal and professional experiences
  • A period spent studying or working abroad in a Spanish speaking country
  • Teaching experience

Each detail counts. If you’ve developed your own teaching methods and expertise, share them!

Also think about explaining the reasons you’ve decided to teach Spanish, and your own skills as a teacher (listening, pedagogy, learning methods, ability to adapt lessons, patience…)

You can also find many short courses in order to develop your teaching skills and work on developing your lesson plans.

The internet, an easy way to win some business

Do you want to begin pitching yourself out as a private Spanish tutor?

You’ll need to do some communications work to find your tutees!

Improve your visibility using the internet. There are many different websites like Superprof which offer tutors from a wide range of backgrounds the opportunity to match with students searching for private lessons.

If you don’t have a college degree, you may need to adjust your fees to reflect this, but this will only help you be more competitive. The cost of courses is often an important factor for parents when selecting a tutor for their students. And word of mouth will take care of the rest!

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