Canterbury English Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the Canterbury International TEFL Certificate, and if after working for Canterbury I wanted to teach in another country, would your TEFL Certificate be recognized there?

A. The Canterbury International TEFL Certificate is an internationally recognized qualification for teaching English abroad. The Canterbury International TEFL Certificate Course is fully accredited by the College of Teachers in London, England. The Canterbury International TEFL Certificate Course is a Centre of the College of Teachers that provides accredited courses and abides by its Code of Practice. For more information regarding the College of Teachers, please click here.

In addition, Canterbury is a member of TESOL, The College of Teachers, as well as a member of the Madrid Chamber of Commerce, and has been awarded the Golden Laurel in 1999 from the Madrid City Hall and Radio Turismo, the Golden Medal from the Province of Madrid in 2000 and the National Merit Award of Spain in 2001 for the excellence of its programs. Canterbury professors are currently teaching in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America with our internationally accredited TEFL Certificate.

Q. Canterbury English guarantees a teaching position for those who complete the International TEFL Certificate course?

A. Yes, we guarantee an average minimum of between ten and fifteen hours teaching a week.

No matter what you may hear, the reality is that it is very difficult to find a job in Spain. The unemployment rate is 12%. This is further compounded if you are not a member of the European Union. Most people who teach English in Spain do not work full time at any one institution, but they work part time at several places teaching a variety of classes to try to build up to a full time schedule of 20-25 hours per week.

First of all, after earning your International TEFL Certificate at Canterbury, if you desire, you will be provided with a guaranteed job teaching English in Madrid! In addition, Canterbury will offer you excellent opportunities for a summer job as well, including the chance to teach at summer camps, located throughout Spain during the months of July and August.

Other large corporate centers specialize in TEFL certificates only and do not teach English at all. We have been providing English teaching jobs for teachers in Madrid since 1991. Canterbury´s program is small and highly selective and is designed to be specialized in both TEFL and English teaching. Thus, being accepted at Canterbury means that you automatically make that next step of looking for a job. Coming to Spain is a big move for people. By providing our TEFL students with automatic jobs, we make that move very easy.

Moreover, you will gain invaluable real teaching experience in our course that is not found in other programs, and the confidence necessary to stand in front of a group of non native English speaking students and teach English as a foreign language. After you have obtained your certificate, you will have both the opportunity to teach at any other institutions that you desire as well as a guaranteed job at Canterbury. For people who are shopping for a TEFL program, this should be a key factor in deciding which one to choose.

Q. How much can I earn teaching English in Madrid? What is the average successful graduate's weekly work schedule like?

A. The full market pay rates at academies in Madrid range from 11 to 18 euros per hour. This is based on many factors including the experience of the teacher, the difficulty of the class, whether the class is a one to one class or a group class, whether the class is a general English class or a business English class, and the number of hours that you are contracted to work. The average pay for group classes in companies and businesses is 15 euros per hour. In addition, private classes usually pay between 10 - 20 euros per hour, but are more unstable as students often stop classes without warning at any time during the year. The average weekly work schedule varies from one teacher to another. We consider a full schedule as twenty five hours of teaching a week, and you need to teach about twenty to twenty five hours a week to pay all of your living expenses. Canterbury guarantees an average minimum of fifteen hours a week. This will cover all of your basic needs to live such as monthly rent, food, and transportation costs. Often we can give you more than fifteen hours of teaching, but we cannot guarantee this. Teachers who want to teach more than fifteen hours are responsible for their own marketing to other English academies and private students. Of course, Canterbury will assist you and advise you in this process. Also, some teachers want to dedicate some of their time to studying Spanish and others do not want classes on Fridays, because they prefer to enjoy a three day weekend. It all depends on you.

Q. What type of students will I be teaching? What age range are they going to be, and are they going to be professionals or individuals? Will I teach classes, or teach on a one-to-one basis?

A. Your students will be a mixture of children, teenagers, adults and professionals of all English levels. You will usually teach one to one as well as small groups (2-5), and occasionally big groups (6-20). You will travel to the homes, offices or schools of where your students live or work throughout Madrid to teach these classes.

Q. When do I start teaching classes?

A. Another important difference at Canterbury includes being paid for teaching classes that begin during the course. Theoretical training is important, but there is no substitute for experience. Standing in front of a group of non native English speakers and teaching an English class in a foreign country is not easy. For those with little or no teaching experience, it can be a daunting experience. Canterbury realizes this. Our program is specifically designed to guide you, to help you and walk you through this process so that you attain the confidence necessary to do this by the end of the course.

Our philosophy includes both a “LEARN BY DOING” approach together with a “PAID FOR DOING” policy. Thus, each TEFL trainee must teach a total of 40 hours of classes with non-native speaking students to fulfill the 120 hour course requirements and obtain their TEFL certificate. This is by far the highest number of real teaching hours offered by any TEFL program. Moreover, you will be paid for teaching these classes as well. As a trainee, you will be hard pressed to find a better situation than that!

Q. Do I continue teaching the students that I have started with during the course, and will I receive more classes after this?

A. You will start teaching students during the course and you will continue with them for the rest of the year if you so desire. This is the job guarantee security that Canterbury offers. You will continue to receive more classes until you have an average minimum of 15 hours of teaching per week. In addition, Canterbury will assist you in marketing yourself to other academies and provide you with class sessions on resume writing, how to set up private classes for yourself, and their well known and respected job references as well.

Q. If I have never taught before, would the Canterbury International TEFL Certificate give me the necessary qualification and experience?

A. With the explosive growth in the demand for English instruction, the TEFL Certificate has become the common qualification overseas for entry-level teaching. The Canterbury International TEFL Certificate course is an economical, time saving option for people who want to learn how to teach English as a second language as well as to immediately start work teaching in a foreign country.

Unlike other TEFL programs, Canterbury devotes a significant amount of time concentrating on the techniques of teaching children. Every trainee participates in eight separate sessions of 2.5 hours each, or 20 hours total of children practice teaching. Considering that 50 % of the job offers around the world involve teaching children, this is another important point to consider when shopping for a TEFL program. Many TEFL programs, including the CELTA, cover this topic in passing, if at all. We feel this is an oversight.

Perhaps because of the shifting job market to the teaching of children, together with the major insufficiency of a children teaching section in the original CELTA program, many CELTA providers are now offering additional young learner certificate courses of 20 to 30 hours duration on aspects of teaching English to young learners for an additional 380 euros on top of the initial 1,350€ course price. Remember, CELTA stands for Certificate of English Language Teaching of Adults.

Moreover, Canterbury also dedicates a substantial amount of time directed toward the techniques of teaching business English to professionals. Again, all trainees participate in eight separate sessions of 2.5 hours each, or 20 hours total of business English practice teaching.

A further distinction of the Canterbury program is a DVD copy of your final oral teaching presentation exam. This is a powerful tool to use with future employers. In addition to your certificate, work experience and recommendations from Canterbury, you have the ability to show yourself teaching an actual thirty minute class to any prospective employer. This gives you a sizable competitive edge in the ESL job market.

Q. Can I obtain a teaching position without a TEFL certificate?

A. Although it may be possible in a few countries to obtain teaching jobs without TEFL certification, this is becoming rarer. Moreover, these are usually quite low paying jobs. Schools increasingly require an accredited TEFL certificate and often require applicants to teach a demonstration lesson or submit a video of the applicant teaching a lesson. Canterbury's training will more than prepare you to meet these requirements.

Q. Are books and materials included in the course price?

A. Yes, all materials for the course, including the textbook, are checked out to each student through the Canterbury English library. Every month the Canterbury English teachers (usually the first week of the month when they are being paid) check in old materials and check out new materials through the Canterbury English library. Typical materials include magazines, books, photocopies, cassette tapes, movie videos, games, etc.

Q. Is there any type of orientation provided when I arrive to Madrid?

A. Yes, everyone is welcome to join us for an orientation session at Canterbury English, Madrid. Orientation is always on the Friday of the week prior to your first TEFL class at 9:30 in the morning. All the students meet with the Directors of the Canterbury English Language Academy and various staff members. Each student is given a welcome pack from the City Hall of Madrid that has city and subway maps, and all kinds of interesting information about Madrid and Spain ranging from restaurants and tabernas to museums and cultural events. After the orientation, the directors then take everyone out for an informal “English “ breakfast with bacon and eggs, pancakes, assorted donuts and pastries, cereals, orange juice, coffee, tea, etc. where everybody gets a chance to relax and converse more informally. The whole orientation covers about three hours and finishes sometime around 12:00 noon. There is also a “Kick-off Cocktail” event of some kind scheduled on the same Friday in the evening where new TEFL students can meet and network with other teachers/friends of Canterbury.

  Topics and information to be covered include:

1. Introduction to Canterbury English and the TEFL Program.
2. Introduction into the Canterbury Club.
3. The Garcia Lorca Spanish School.
4. English Class Administration and Classroom Guidelines.
5. Canterbury General Rules for your English students.
6. Wage Scale/Pay Sheets and length of stay in Madrid.
7. Advice on Accomodation & Housing Information.
8. Purchasing Medical Insurance.
9. Safety in Madrid. (For example, do not bring large amounts of cash with you when you arrive at the airport! Travellers checks are fine.)
10. Purchasing Cell phones.
11. Opening up a bank account in Madrid.
12. Advice on Subway & Bus pass information.

Q. I have read in my travel book that Madrid has become a very expensive city to live in. Is this true?

A. No, it is not true at all. Although the cost of living in Madrid has risen dramatically since the advent of the euro in 2001, it is still a relatively cheap place to live, especially when compared with other capital cities such as New York, London, Paris, etc. For example, the cost of renting a room in Paris or London in 1989 was between 300 – 400 euros, whereas that is the price of renting a room in Madrid now, in 2006! Also, don´t forget that Madrid has the most exciting nightlife of any city in Europe and the cost of going out at night for dinner or drinks is less than 50 % compared to the cities mentioned above.

Q. Is accommodation included in the price of the course? Also, what is the typical cost of living expenses?

A. Accommodation is not included in the price of the course (see below for a variety of housing options).

Typical cost of living expenses are the following:

Rent: 350 Euros Per Month
Food: 250 Euros Per Month
Transport:   50 Euros Per Month
Going Out
at Night:
??? It's up to you!

Here is a list of internet sites where you can find housing and other useful information about Madrid. Past students have told us that , , and are the best sites if you are only looking for a room in an apartment/flat shared with other people. In addition, past students have said that both and are very reliable as well. Finally, the Canterbury library has a message board where students exchange all types of goods. There are usually several listings for rooms/apartments/flats on our board as well.

Madrid Guides and Resources
Loquo - Classfieds Website
Polirooms - Classifieds Website
Easy Piso - Classifieds Website
EASO Student residencies - Student Residence - Agency
In Madrid Madrid Magazine in English
Madrid-Insider - Booking Service - Info About Teaching in Madrid
Multi Madrid - Madrid Guide
Online Properties - Agency
Room Europe - Agency
Segundamano - Classifieds Newspaper
Spain Storage - Baggage Storage

In addition, past students have used the one week minimum no frills rooms booked through the Madrid Insider: Booking Service at as a base while taking the course and / or conducting their longer term housing search. Aditionally, here are the names of some of the more economical hostals/pensions in Madrid. They are all near the school. Typically, past students have stayed for a few days at a hostal/pension when they arrive, while they physically look for something more permanent, which usually only takes a few days to a week.

Canterbury is not responsible for any aspect of housing arranged using these or other services. Please be sure that you are fully aware of all the fees, deposits, payment terms etc. before contracting any one of these services.


Address and
Metro Stop
Cost (per person)
Cats Hostel
c/ Cansares 6
<m> Antón Martín
Internacional Hostel
Posada de Huerta
c/ Huertas 21
<m> Antón Martín
Mad Hostel
c/ Cabeza 24
<m> Antón Martín
Metropol Hostel
c/ Montera 47
<m> Gran Vía
Mucho Madrid
Gran Via 59, 7th floor
<m> Plaza España
Olé International Hostel
Manuela Malasaña 23
<m> San Bernardo
<m> Bilbao
Pop Hostel
c/ Espiritu Santo 18
<m> Tribunal
Age restriction:


Address and
Metro Stop
Single Room
Double Room
Colors Hostel
Fuencarral 39, 4º izq
<m> Tribunal
Hostel Horizonte
c/ Atocha 28, 2ºB
<m> Antón Martín
Hostel Miralva
Valverde 32, 1º izq <m> Tribunal
€25 without private bath
Hostel Principado
c/ Zorrilla 7, 1º <m> Sevilla, Sol
€48 for a triple

For other hostels, check out the following websites:

Q. How much money would I need to start up before I actually complete the TEFL program?

A. You would need (as a minimum) the following:

2 Months Rent: 700 €
Rental Deposit (Fianza): 350 €
2 Months Food: 500 €
2 Months Transport: 100 €
Total: 1,650 €

Q. What types of things would be helpful for me to bring with me to Spain?

A. We recommend that you pack a nice pair of trousers, a few dress shirts and ties (for the guys) and skirts (for the girls) in your suitcase. Once you begin your professional teaching career in Madrid, it will be important to dress accordingly for your professional teaching assignments. We believe it is easier (and more economical) to pack some dress clothes before you leave than it is to buy them here in Madrid after you arrive.

In addition, it is imperative that you have both an awareness and understanding of English grammar. We advise that you study English grammar before you leave, and that you bring a grammar book(s) with you to Madrid.

We present the following as excellent English grammar books:

Murphy, R. (2004) English Grammar in Use, Third Edition, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
(This is a self-study reference and practice book for intermediate students of English.)

Swan, M. (1980) Practical English Usage, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Sinclair, J. (1992) Collins COBUILD English Usage, The University of Birmingham: Harper Collins.
(These are reference, encyclopedia type books for teachers to use when preparing their lectures.)

Moreover, for those of you who plan to stay for a long period of time in Madrid after the TEFL course is over, we suggest bringing other teaching materials with you as well. Materials such as various publications written in English, (grammar books, business books, literature books, different types of magazines) colored markers, crayons, cut outs, games in English, etc. are well worth their weight in your suitcase. Start thinking about these types of things now, and your experience as an English teacher in Spain will be much more enjoyable later.

Q. Do the students arrange airfares independently?

A.Yes, the students arrange their own airfares.

Q. What is the actual retention rate of those who sought positions with Canterbury and were employed?

A. The actual retention rate of those who successfully complete the program and sought positions with Canterbury is 99%! Remember, Canterbury guarantees you a job as well as job placement, and for people who are shopping for a TEFL program, this should be a key factor in deciding which one to choose.

Q. Does it matter if I cannot speak Spanish?

A. It is not a problem if you do not speak Spanish. Some of our teachers did not speak a word of Spanish before they came to Spain, but they usually take Spanish classes with our sister company, the Garcia Lorca Spanish School, and learn quickly. This also enables them to teach a wider variety of English classes. In fact, there is a special discount of 30% on Spanish classes at Garcia Lorca for all Canterbury TEFL students. Click here to see more information at

Q. When does the next Canterbury International TEFL Certificate course start?

A. The Canterbury International TEFL Certificate course is of four weeks duration and is held every month of the year. Click the following link to see the . Because of the demand for our TEFL course, it is usually booked up a few weeks or more (depending on the month) before it starts. We recommend that you send in your application for the month that is most convenient for you as soon as possible.

Q. When do people normally have to decide and pay the deposit?

A. If your application for the month you have chosen has been accepted (we take about a week to evaluate it through a highly selective process), you will receive an e-mail informing you of your acceptance. You then have fourteen days from the date of the e-mail to send us your credit card number, which will be debited 300 Euros. If, after fourteen days, we have not received payment, your space will be taken by another student.

Q. Do students arrange their own medical insurance?

A.Yes, the students arrange their own medical insurance after they arrive, if they so desire, for a very nominal fee depending on how long they are planning to stay in Spain. High quality medical insurance is readily available in Madrid for about forty euros a month.

Q. Is it better to live in Madrid or Barcelona?

A. Canterbury does not have a branch in Barcelona. As far as your decision between Barcelona and Madrid, part of the difficulty is the language. The key problem with Barcelona is that the people speak Catalan to each other, although if you speak to them in Spanish, they will respond in Spanish. Catalan is another language, incomprehensible to Spanish speakers, and is only spoken in this small region of Spain. You learn Spanish in class, but in the street you hear Catalan. Not only that, but Madrid has a more Spanish flavor than Barcelona.

Q. Where is Canterbury located?

A. Downtown Madrid, near the Banco de Espańa Metro station (Check the FAQ/Contact page for the address and a map).

Q. What if I have other questions?

A. If you still have any specific questions concerning the program, please email us a contact number and the best time to call you. We will telephone you here from Madrid as soon as we can. For the fastest and speediest responses, please send all emails to the following address:

Come and start your new, fun, and exciting life in Spain!


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