Hey, y’all! Today I’m excited to share a little bit about my experience so far being an English Language Assistant in Madrid, Spain. I hope this post can give an overview of my experience so far and how I got to this point.
What is the English Language Assistant Program?
I am a part of a program through the Ministry of Spain that allows me to be an English Language Assistant in Madrid. This program/position is also referred to as Auxiliar, or Aux program.
The Ministry of Spain runs this program every year that allows fluent English speakers to work with a school in Spain as an assistant in teaching the English language. You can apply to the program for free, but there are some requirements for those that apply. You can find out all the information about this program by going to the Ministry’s website.
Why I Decided to Apply
I decided to apply in October of 2020. It had been a rough few months of being quarantined and locked away from the world due to the COVID pandemic. I had always considered participating in a study abroad program through college, but things had just never worked out for me. Now, after nearly 8 months of isolation, I was ready to get back into the world.
When I saw that this program would not only lend me the opportunity to live in and explore one of the amazing cities of Spain but also gain teaching experience, I was sold. Although I still didn’t really know what the program entailed or where exactly my role would lead me, I knew this experience was one I couldn’t pass up.
My Daily Schedule
My schedule at the school each day is more or less the same. I’m typically there from 9am – 2pm, four days a week. Each class is fourty-five minutes which means I switch between six classes each work day. I usually have three classes in the morning, a thirty-minute recess, and then three classes in the evening. My classes range from levels 3-6 and I work with them in Art, Science, and English. All three of these subjects are held in English, with all the class materials (books, worksheets, etc.) being in English as well.
How Do I Assist
I’m typically able to assist each class by taking small groups of students into the hall and going over class materials with them. I work with between 2-4 students at a time and keep them with me for 10-15 minutes. Sometimes, the teacher wants me to work on something specific from the unit with them, and other times, they let me choose depending on the needs of the kids.
There is always vocabulary for each unit so I typically start by reviewing it and making sure each child understands what all the words mean. After that, I read stories with them that are in the book, help them to make simple sentences and questions out of the unit words, or play related games with them. All the kids are at differing levels of English so it’s most important to get an idea of where each child is at and work with them from there.
Sometimes, I also prepare presentations or games for the entire class. This is usually not necessary, but every so often, especially when an American holiday is close, the teacher may ask me to prepare something special for the whole class.
I hope that gives you a good overview of how I became an English language assistant and what I do each day. I have more posts related to this topic in the works so stick around if you’re interested!