Studies & Degrees in Teaching of Spanish as a Second Language

Choose where you would like to study Teaching of Spanish as a Second Language:

ArgentinaCanadaChileEcuadorGuatemalaHondurasMexicoNicaraguaSpainThe United States

In 2009, Spanish came out as the second language in the world by number of native speakers, following only Mandarin Chinese. This explains the fact why there is an increasing number of young and adult students who wish to learn Spanish as a second language.

Teaching the language involves the regular tasks a teacher of a foreign language has to do – first assess the level of Spanish proficiency the students possess, and then build teaching methods according to that. The ultimate goal is to teach non-native Spanish students how to read, write, speak, and understand the Spanish language. This involves the creation and organization of lesson plans, preparation of full lesson units, and regular instruction of students in the fundamental and advanced aspects of Spanish. The fundamentals of teaching the language would include basic knowledge of gender, noun and verb usage, as well as proper spelling and punctuation. On the other hand, more advanced concepts would take account of the thorough understanding of verb tenses, verb conjugation, and dialectic differences between the different regions where Spanish is spoken.

Personal Qualities

To teach Spanish as a second language, you need to possess many qualities any teacher should master – patience, combined with good communication and interpersonal skills. Here is a fuller list of qualities:

  • Exceptional organizational and planning skills
  • Excellent grasp of the Spanish language
  • Flexibility and adaptiveness
  • Creativity and imagination
  • Understanding and acceptance of cultural differences
  • Ability to think of and employ unusual teaching methods for difficult students

Study Options

If you are planning to just teach Spanish as a second language, you may first wish to consider the age group you plan to concentrate on; whether you wish to become a private tutor, work in a public school, participate in a special program, or teach at a private school. It is most likely that for tutoring and private school teaching, you would have more freedom, and a good mastery of the language, combined with a training course or some online education, would allow you to practice the profession, and then learn on the go.

Some other schools may require at least a bachelor’s degree, and in this case you would most likely need to have a certification and a license. The degree could either be a Spanish one, or a teaching degree, and in some cases mastery of the native language of students may be called for. Therefore, a good university choice would be one that offers extensive practical knowledge, and probably some international experience. This will help you form a view of what area of teaching you would like to concentrate on. Finally, you may also wish to consider training in pedagogy, child development, or special education studies.

Career Options

Career options for Spanish language and bilingual professionals are extremely wide. With the extensive possibilities for travel and international education and employment, teaching Spanish as a foreign language can be applied in numerous cases.

You may choose to become a teacher at an international school, instructing students from different nationalities and cultures. Another possibility would be to be a private tutor, and visit students at their homes to help them with aspects like speaking, grammar, and pronunciation. You can even find employment with adult students, who plan to go on a holiday, and their main aim is to have a general grasp of understanding and speaking the Spanish language. Another option would be to assist employees of multinational companies, who need Spanish as a means of inter-firm business communication.