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Common Spanish Words and Phrases to Use Every Day

Even if you’re not interested in becoming a Spanish pro, learning a few basic phrases for use in everyday life can go a long way to making you functionally proficient.

Here we’ll survey a few common Spanish words and phrases that you’ll likely use on a daily basis once you move to Spain, Latin America, or anywhere the beautiful Latin-derived language is spoken.

Introductory phrases

Everyone needs friends – and that’s doubly true if you’re a foreigner in a strange land. Here are some words and phrases you can use to meet new people and build personal relationships:

How are you?¿Cómo estás?
Nice to meet youMucho gusto
What’s your name?¿Cómo te llamas?
Hello, my name is [name]Hola, me llamo [name]
I’m well, thank youEstoy bien, gracias
Good eveningBuenas noches
Good afternoonBuenas tardes
Good morningBuenos días

The ‘W’ interrogatives

Here are the “W” words, translated into Spanish. Note the use of the upside-down question mark, one of the most delightful peculiarities of the Spanish language:

What?  ¿Qué?
Why?¿Por qué?

Navigational terms

When you venture abroad – whether you find yourself in Barcelona or Shanghai – you will inevitably lose your way. Even with Google Maps, you might have to rely on the guidance of good-willed locals to get where you’re going.

Here are some handy phrases you can use to that end:

I am lostEstoy perdido/a*
Where is… (the bathroom)?¿Dónde está… (el baño)?
Where can I take a taxi?¿Dónde puedo tomar un taxi?
What is the best way to go to…?¿Cuál es la mejor forma de ir a…?
How far is the… from the…?¿Qué tan lejos está el/la… del/de la…?
I’m looking for the closest metro station.Busco la estación del metro más cercana.
How do I get to the hospital?¿Cómo llego al hospital?
Is there a park around here?¿Hay un parque cerca de aquí?

*Spanish is a gendered language. When using an adjective, such as “lost” (“perdido/a) in the above example, the proper ending (a or o) depends on the gender of the speaker. So if you’re a guy, it would be “estoy perdido,” whereas, if you’re a lady, the correct formulation would be “estoy perdida.” Some native English speakers struggle with this issue when they first begin learning Spanish, but after a while adjusting word endings based on gender becomes second nature.


Dovetailing with the navigational terms, here are a few prepositions as well as how to say “to the left/right of”:

In front ofDelante de
BehindDetras de
Far fromLejos de
close toCerca de
BetweenEntre de
BelowAbajo/debajo de
To the right of…A la derecha de…
To the left of…A la izquierda de…

Directional phrases

Last on the list of navigational terminologies, here are the cardinal directions in Spanish:

SouthwestSur oeste

Basic verbs

Moving around Madrid or Santiago, here are a few verbs that you’ll find handy:

Go (command)Ve
I am goingYo voy
Go upSube
Go downBaja
To leaveSalir/Dejar
To enterEntrar
I wantYo quiero
I amYo soy/Yo estoy*
You areTue eres/Tu estas*

The correct use of the form of the term “to be” in Spanish depends on context. There are two separate words that both mean “to be”:

  • “Ser” is used to refer to a condition or action that is permanent and unchanging – for instance, when describing someone’s name or national origin. “I am from the United States” is translated as “Yo soy de los estados unidos.”
  • “Estar” is used to refer to a condition or action that is transient, meaning it is limited in time or will change in the future – for instance, when describing someone’s current location or mood. “I am at the park” translates to “Yo estoy in el parque.”

The delineation between these two forms of “to be” presents a challenge to many native English speakers. There are more nuances associated with the use of ser vs. estar that you’ll pick up as you progress in your language skills.

Romantic Spanish words

In case you plan on finding a sweetheart (“novio/a”) abroad – since people of Spain and Latin America are so lovely, no one can blame you — here are a few phrases you can use to sweet-talk your darling.

I love youTe amo/Te quiero
I love you tooYo también te amo/quiero
I’m in loveEstoy enamorado/a
We are datingEstamos saliendo
My boyfriend/girlfriendMi novio/a
We are engagedEstamos comprometidos
My husband/wifeMi esposo/a
Beautiful (feminine)Hermosa
Handsome (masculine)Guapo

Spanish school/classroom vocabulary

For the sake of fostering an immersive learning environment, most schools in Spain prefer that native English speakers only use their mother tongue in the classroom with students.

However, certain circumstances might require the use of the students’ native tongue. Here are a few terms associated with the school and classroom that are convenient for teachers to know:

ClassroomLa clase/El aula
Blackboard/WhiteboardLa pizarra/El pizarrón
DeskEl escritorio/El pupitre
BookEl libro
PaperEl papel
To studyEstudiar
To knowSaber
To learnAprender
To readLeer

Common Spanish interview phrases

If you’re on the prowl for an ESL position in Spain or Latin America, job interviews will be conducted almost exclusively in English. Spanish proficiency generally is not a job requirement, nor it is customarily expected in a candidate.

Nonetheless, it can’t hurt to impress your prospective new employer by slipping in a few off-the-cuff Spanish phrases. Here are a some examples:

Job InterviewEntrevista de Trabajo
Resume/CVCurriculum/Hoja de Vida
Employment ContractContrato de Trabajo
To HireContratar
Personal ReferencesReferencia personal
DegreeTítulo, Licenciatura
BossJefe, Jefa
Work ExperienceExperiencia Laboral

Convenient online apps to improve your Spanish repertoire

If you don’t have the bandwidth to invest in a formal Spanish class, that’s totally understandable. We’re all busy enough these days without an extra time commitment.

The good news is that — provided you have a phone with an internet connection and a few spare minutes each day — there are numerous excellent apps out there that offer bite-sized Spanish lessons you can squeeze into even the busiest of schedules.

I’d recommend the totally-free DuoLingo app to get your feet wet. If you enjoy it, you can always upgrade to the paid version or try out another paid service like Rosetta Stone.

Contact RVF International, your local experts on all things Spain and Spanish

To learn more about premium English-teaching opportunities in Spain or just to brush up on your casual Spanish, please feel free to contact RVF International. We’re always happy to chat – in English or in Spanish.

Ben Bartee is a Bangkok-based American journalist, grant writer, political essayist, researcher, travel blogger, and amateur philosopher. Contact him on Linkedin and check out his Portfolio.


Which Countries Offer the Highest Pay to TEFL-Certified English Teachers (2023)?

Highest-Paying Countries for TEFL-Certified English Teachers in 2023

Are you a prospective teacher interested in teaching English as a second language (ESL)? Have you already earned your certification to teach English as a foreign language (TEFL)?

The next step in your journey is narrowing down their list of potential destinations to begin their careers.

Pay for ESL work varies widely by region and can even differ dramatically between countries within the same region.

Here, we’ll explore where you can make the most money as an ESL teacher in 2023 and where you can expect the lowest salary. We’ll also discuss important considerations in the way of cost of living that you should factor into the equation.

What are the highest-paying countries for ESL teachers?

Let’s survey a few of the most lucrative destinations for ESL teachers:

  • United Arab Emirates (UAE). Many of the highest-paying ESL destinations are located in the Middle East. This is primarily for two reasons: these oil-rich countries have the economic resources to support these high salaries and they feel that they have to offer more money to attract qualified teachers due to the often-strict cultural restrictions that foreigners must abide by while in the country.
    The average pay for ESL teachers in the UAE is $3,500-$5,500. In addition to higher salaries, many institutions in the UAE also offer free housing, airfare reimbursement, national health insurance, and other benefits.
    With the generous salary, though, come more strict teacher requirements. Most of these schools require TEFL certification and prior teaching experience.
  • Qatar. Also located in the oil-rich Middle East, Qatar is another well-paying ESL destination. The average teacher salary in Qatar is $2,400-$4,5000/month.
  • South Korea. South Korea has long been one of the largest, most dominant ESL markets. In the last few decades, the South Korean government and education authorities have invested a large sum of money into ESL education as a means to boost the economy in the globalized business world.
    Pay for ESL teachers in South Korea is $1,700-$2,650 USD/month. Many schools offer housing and airfare reimbursement as well.
  • Taiwan. South of the Korean Peninsula, with a beautiful subtropical climate, Taiwan is a favorite destination for ESL teachers for many reasons – the average salary of $2,000-$3,000/month being just one.

What are the lowest-paying countries for ESL teachers?

Certain regions of the world generally pay less for ESL work. There may be a variety of reasons for this, but the main one is that these countries have fewer financial resources than others.

Rather than listing individual countries with low pay rates, let’s conduct the analysis on a regional basis:

  • Latin America. With a few exceptions like Argentina and Chile, most countries in Latin America aren’t very lucrative. For example, the average teacher salary in Peru is $500-$800/month. In Colombia, it’s about $500-$1,000/month.
  • Southeast Asia. It’s possible to land high-paying work in Southeast Asia – for instance, at international schools in Bangkok, Thailand it’s possible to clear $3,000/month. However, most of the region is relatively poor compared to giants to the North like Japan and South Korea. Accordingly, the average teacher salary in Thailand is $1,000-$1,200/month.

A note on the cost of living across the world

We would be remiss if we did not touch upon cost of living to round out your analysis.

When you’re comparing and contrasting ESL salaries between countries and regions, it’s important that you factor in cost of living into the equation.

It’s not just about how much money you’re pulling in – equally relevant is how much money you’re spending on a monthly basis.

If your cost of living is lower, obviously that means your salary will go further, and vice-versa if your cost of living is higher.

So, in the end, if you make $2,000/month in a big city like Madrid, the spending power might be equivalent to that of a $1,400/month position in a small town just outside Madrid like Tres Cantos. (Those figures are just examples; don’t take them literally).

One super handy tool that you can use to get a baseline idea of a city or country’s cost of living is Numbeo. To use it, you simply enter a destination and the software generates a complete cost-of-living analysis broken down by specific common expenses such as rent, eggs, and a bottle of beer.

Teach English Abroad Salary

You can also use Numbeo’s comparison tool for a side-by-side matchup of cost of living between two areas – for example, between your hometown and your ESL destination.

As an example, Spain’s cost of living is 30.8% lower than in the United States. That means your monthly expenses – rent, food, transportation etc. – will likely cost, on average, about 2/3 of what they would be back home.

As we alluded to previously, cost of living can be further delineated between rural and urban environments. The cost of living in big cities – which, in Spain, would mean Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville – is generally higher than the cost of living in small-to-medium size cities and towns.

Factoring in the monetary value of employment benefits

When you’re considering salary, you should also weigh the financial value of various employment benefits commonly offered by schools. These include:

  • Accommodation. Rent is, for most people, the single largest monthly expense. Many schools provide apartments or other forms of housing for their teachers, which potentially has a value of over $500/month depending on the local rental rates.
  • Airfare. Overseas flights can cost upwards of a thousand dollars. Some schools will cover this cost upfront, but most offer airfare reimbursement, which means that once you’ve completed your contract they will pay you back for the cost of your flight.
  • Free meals. Contrary to the ancient adage, there is such a thing as free lunch! Lots of schools offer free lunch to their teachers, which could save you several dollars on a daily basis that you would otherwise spend at a local eatery.
  • Healthcare. Even though healthcare costs are generally lower abroad than they are in the United States, having employer-provided health insurance or enrollment in a national healthcare program can be a lifesaver – no pun intended – for your wallet if you get sick or hurt.

What is the average ESL pay in Spain?

At RVF International, we help place teachers in competitive-paying positions throughout Spain. The average foreign English teacher salary in Spain is $800-$1,250 USD/month – which puts it somewhere in the middle range for ESL salaries compared to the global market.

Of course, that’s just the average to give you a ballpark figure. The exact salary you can expect in Europe will depend on a few factors such as:

  • Your education level
  • Your prior experience
  • The type of school (international schools, for instance, pay far higher salaries than public schools)
  • Your TEFL certification status

RVF International has also developed our very own fully accredited TEFL course that focuses on preparing North American teachers to thrive in Spain as ESL teachers.

You can find more info here.

In the meantime, check out our authoritative blog post on the benefits of living and working in Spain as an ESL teacher, 10 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Teach Abroad Program in Spain.

Contact RVF International to learn more about the global ESL industry and teacher salaries

If you have your heart set on teaching abroad but aren’t sure exactly where or in what capacity is best for you, we’re here to help.

Contact us with any questions or concerns and our friendly team will get back to you in a timely manner.

Deciding on your ultimate ESL destination is a big decision that requires planning and research. Salary is just one factor among many to weigh. We’re always available to answer any questions you might have.

If you decide that Spain is where you want to be – and we can’t blame you – consider letting us be your bridge to an adventure in Spain.

Ben Bartee is a Bangkok-based American journalist, grant writer, political essayist, researcher, travel blogger, and amateur philosopher. Contact him on Linkedin and check out his portfolio.


Teach English Abroad Programs and the Top 5 Benefits For ESL Teachers

Unlocking Opportunities: Top 5 Benefits of Teaching English in Spain Through an Abroad Program

Are you a prospective English as a second language (ESL) teacher considering your options abroad?

If so, you might have questions about the most effective, easiest path to land a rewarding position in a reputable school.

Here, we’ll explore one of the two main ways to find paid (not volunteer) ESL employment in the global marketplace: a Teach English Abroad Program.

We’ll also cover the distinctions between ESL programs and ESL recruitment services.

What is an ESL Teach Abroad Program and what does it do for teachers?

A Teach English Abroad Program, as the name suggests, helps places its participants in paid positions as English teachers across the globe.

Most Teach Abroad Programs focus on a specific country or region.

To do this, these enterprises help tap into networks of English-teaching schools (public, private, or both).

Many leading ESL programs have established long-lasting ties with these schools that they have cultivated over time, so there is mutual trust and cooperation.

So, essentially, what a Teach English Abroad program brings to the table is help streamlining the job search and hiring process, plus ongoing logistical support throughout the duration of your time teaching English abroad.

Most Teach Abroad Programs, again, operate within a specific geographic area. A few of the most common destinations for foreign ESL work where programs help send teachers are:

ESL recruitment vs Teach Abroad Programs: what’s the difference?

Sometimes Teach Abroad Programs and their unique services are referred to by other related terms such as “ESL agencies” or “ESL recruitment services.”

However, the terms, while similar, are not exactly interchangeable.

Here’s a pair of essential differences between an ESL recruitment service and a Teach Abroad Program and it’s support:

  • ESL recruiters and agents broker relationships between teachers and potential host schools, whereas Teach Abroad Programs help place teachers in positions in schools. In other words, Teach Abroad Programs are responsible for more administrative functions on behalf of teachers than recruiters and agents.
  • Teach English Abroad programs typically extend institutional support to the teacher throughout the duration of his or her stay in country, whereas ESL recruiters often collect a finder’s fee after the teacher is onboarded and then conclude their relationship with the teacher.
    RVF International, for instance, as part of our Teach English in Spain program, provides help with placement support, visa support, residency support, and logistical help with everyday issues in Spain rather than just dropping you off in Spain all alone.

The bottom line for ESL teachers: before signing on the dotted line, take the time to understand how the ESL service you are thinking about using works.

Does it merely make the initial connection between you and a host school, as agents and recruiters do, or does it go the extra mile by helping to place teachers in a position and providing support throughout the contract?

Other important things to understand about job placement services

Let’s survey a few basic realities about Teach Abroad Programs that you should keep in the back of your mind when considering using such a program:

  • In some cases, a solid TEFL (teaching English as a foreign language) program – which trains English teachers to thrive in non-native-English-speaking classrooms – might offer a job placement guarantee after you complete the course.
    However, if your TEFL course does guarantee job placement, it’s likely to be more expensive than the average cost for TEFL courses with no job guarantee.
  • The devil, as the saying goes, is always in the details. Let’s emphasize again that whenever you’re considering using a Teach English Abroad program, be sure to read the fine print.
  • Vet any program you’re seriously considering by checking independent, third-party reviews online. These are more likely to be authentic and unbiased as opposed to reviews on the company’s site.

Again, some Teach Abroad Programs legitimately deliver the proverbial goods. Others are less reliable. Due to the internet’s Wild West ethos, the onus is unfortunately on you, the teacher, to sort them out.

Caveats aside, let’s move on to the numerous benefits of a well-run Teach Abroad Program.

Teach English Abroad Programs benefit #1: Build lasting friendships

Traveling abroad can sometimes be isolating and lonesome. That’s just the nature of the beast.

When you enroll in a program like RVF International, you’re granted immediate access to a network of kindred spirits with a shared wanderlust.

In many cases, if you are placed in the same school, you’ll serve alongside your new colleagues on a daily basis.

These are relationships that often last well beyond your time together in the trenches, so to speak, in Spain. Some may span decades.

Teach English Abroad Programs benefit #2: Ditch the dreaded visa paperwork

Take it from someone who’s been through trial by combat with multiple immigration services from Vietnam to Ukraine: if you can possibly avoid braving a foreign immigration office on your own, snatch the opportunity!

As Kafka infamously lamented, government bureaucracies are always somewhat opaque and chaotic by nature. When, on top of that, the bureaucracy is conducted in a foreign language with unique customs and procedures that you might be unfamiliar with, the challenges they pose multiply.

To visualize, imagine your typical dreary trip to the DMV for a standard license renewal – except, in this instance, all of the paperwork is presented in Chinese characters and all of the tellers speak Chinese.

If that sounds like a nightmare (it is), then using a program’s services like RVF International is probably your best bet.

Teach English Abroad Programs benefit #3: Making sure you’re paid well and supported

If and when you take on the global ESL job market on your own, you will notice a wide variance in listed salaries and benefits across schools.

Unless you are very familiar with the local market, it can be hard to know what you can expect in a decent contract in the way of salary and benefits.

That’s where a Teach Abroad Program and it’s services and support comes into play. Good ones ensure that you are well-compensated for your valuable labor and taken care of the entire time you’re teaching abroad.

Teach English Abroad Programs benefit #4: Logistical support

I touched on logistics a little earlier with the immigration paperwork example.

But, in fact, a solid Teach Abroad Program will help with much more than just the visa application process.

Depending on the organization, a program may help with housing, transportation, translations, and other everyday needs that English teachers in foreign countries have.

Teach English Abroad Programs benefit #5: Personalized services

It’s in everyone’s best interest – the school’s, the Teach English Abroad Program’s, the students’, and yours as the teacher – that the school you are ultimately placed in is an optimal fit.

To ensure that happens, at RVF International we take the time to listen carefully to all of our participants during the onboarding process.

We want to know about your goals, your teaching preferences, any unique personal challenges, etc. so that we can help place you in the most compatible teaching position possible.

Our mission, at all times, is not just that you make it through your teaching year but that your experience as an English instructor in Spain is a time of thriving and personal enrichment that you can use as a springboard into bigger and better things beyond.

Potential downsides of a Program

Of course, using a recruiter/teach abroad program isn’t right for every teacher.

Based on my experience with the global ESL industry, you might be better off on your own if:

  • You already have a well-established social support network in your desired host country
  • You are familiar with the local ESL market (average teacher pay, standard teacher benefits, etc.) in your desired host country
  • You’re already well-seasoned in terms of identifying and applying for quality ESL jobs and navigating the process in your desired host country

Contact RVF International to learn more about the value we offer to new ESL teachers

For more authoritative information regarding your options as an aspirational ESL teacher, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Also, give us a follow on social media via Facebook, Instagram or TikTok.


Words That Are Similar in English and Spanish (Cognates)

Discovering Cognates: The Common Ground of English and Spanish Languages

The great benefit of learning Spanish as a native English speaker is the plethora of cognates that make the whole process much easier than, for example, learning Chinese.

Let’s get into what cognates are, some of the most useful and commonly used Spanish-English cognates, and general rules of thumb you can use to render cognates from English to Spanish.

What is a cognate?

According to Merriam-Webster, cognate as an adjective is defined as “of the same or similar nature: generically alike.” It also means, in the context of language, “related by descent from the same ancestral language.” As a noun, a cognate refers to one of a pair of words with a shared structure.

The ancestral language shared by English and Spanish in question here is Latin. Although English is best regarded as a Germanic language by linguists due to its similar grammatical and syntactical structure, it also contains many, many vocabulary terms sourced from Latin.

Spanish actually is a Latin-based, or “Romance,” language. Upwards of 75% of Spanish words have Latin roots, so it’s one of the most similar living languages to the dead language.

There are historical reasons for Spanish’s similarity to Latin, particularly the Roman conquest of the Iberian Peninsula thousands of years ago and its incorporation into the Roman Empire.

The bottom line is that English and Spanish share many words in common – otherwise known as “cognates.” As a result, if you are a native English speaker, you already know 1,000+ Spanish words, automatically!

As anyone who’s struggled with a new language can attest, that’s a huge head start on acquiring the Spanish language.

What are common cognates in English and Spanish?

Before we dive into some of the general rules of Spanish-English cognates, let’s take a small sample of the cognates shared by English and Spanish, via Real Fast Spanish:

  • Cáncer
  • Central
  • Conclusión
  • Disco
  • Horizontal
  • Mental
  • Regular
  • Social

… and many, many more.

Bear in mind that, although these words are spelled the same and have the same meaning in both Spanish and English, they are actually pronounced quite differently in many cases. For instance, en español, “social” (so-see-all) sounds quite different from the English pronunciation.


False cognates

No discussion of English-Spanish cognates is complete without a brief exploration of false cognates.

Sometimes, words appear to be shared between languages but it is actually a happy accident. These are called “false cognates,” defined by ThoughtCo. as “words that people commonly believe are related, but that linguistic examination reveals are unrelated and have no common origin.”

Examples of false Spanish-English cognates include “constestar,” meaning “to answer” in Spanish whereas “contest” in English is a synonym of “challenge,” and “molestar,” which simply means “to bother” in Spanish but which has sexual connotations in English.

It’s easy to get tripped up and assume these words, which sound so similar to ones in your native English, mean the same thing in Spanish. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to look up new words’ definitions, even if you think they are cognates.

Cognates: a master hack for learning new Spanish words

Because of the largely shared vocabulary between these two European languages, you are automatically granted a huge vocabulary you can simply export to Spanish as a native English speaker. All you have to do for many words is slightly modify the ending.

That said, it’s important to remember that, just like in English, there are always exceptions to the rule. The following are basic, nearly universally applicable principles of English-to-Spanish translation, but they aren’t without exceptions.

That caveat aside, here are some handy rules of thumb that you’ll find immensely beneficial as you expand your Spanish vocabulary.

English-Spanish cognates changing ‘tion’ to ‘ción’

Several English words end in “tion” – a suffix that indicates the noun form of a verb. Spanish has the same form of nouns turned into verbs, except they end in “ción ” rather than “tion.”

So, “condition” in English becomes “condición” in Spanish, “nation” in English becomes “nación” in Spanish, and so on.

English-Spanish cognates adding an ‘o’

Many English words can be Spanish-ized by simply adding an o to the end. Examples include “organic” in English that becomes “orgánico” in Spanish, “domestic” in English that becomes “doméstico” in Spanish, and so forth.

English-Spanish cognates changing ‘ity’ to ‘idad’

Most English words that end in “ity” translate to something similar in Spanish, but with “idad” at the tail instead.

So “activity” in English is mirrored in Spanish by “actividad,” “university” is changed to “Universidad,” etc.

English-Spanish cognates changing ‘ist’ to ‘ista’

English words that end in “ist” – which indicates a person who does a specific thing – can often be changed to Spanish by simply adding an “a” to the end.

For instance, “artist” becomes “artista,” “terrorist” becomes “terrorista,” and so on.

English-Spanish cognates changing ‘phy’ to ‘fia’

English words that conclude with the suffix “phy” – which indicates the practice of a discipline – can often be switched with the ending of “fia” in Spanish.

So, “photography” in English becomes “fotografia” in Spanish (“ph” in English is always switched to “f” in such cases in Spanish), “geography” in English becomes “geografia” in Spanish, etc.

English-Spanish cognates changing ‘ous’ to ‘oso’

English adjectives that end in “ous,” which indicates that a noun has a particular quality, can often be translated to Spanish by removing the “ous” and replacing it with an “oso.”

For example, “delicious” in English becomes “delicioso” in Spanish, “nervous” in Spanish becomes “nervioso,” and so forth.

English-Spanish cognates changing ‘ct’ ending to ‘cto’

Several English words that end in “ct” can, as a general rule, be changed to Spanish by adding an “o” to the end.

So, “act” becomes “acto” in Spanish, “product” in English becomes “product,” and so on.

English-Spanish cognates changing ‘ic’ ending to ‘ico’

Adjectives, and sometimes nouns, that end in “ic” in English can be transformed into Spanish by adding an “o” to the end.

For example, “romantic” in English is rendered as “romántico” in Spanish, the English word “public” is “público” in Spanish, etc.

English-Spanish adverb cognates

Numerous Spanish-English cognates can be switched from English to Spanish by swapping an “ly” suffix in English with a “mente” suffix in Spanish.

For example, “basically” in English becomes “básicamente” in Spanish, “exactly” in English becomes “exactamente” in Spanish, etc.

Obviously, this is a lot of information to process in one sitting. But as you practice Spanish and begin to intuitively understand its internal logic at a deeper level, these principles will become more engrained. As a result, off-the-cuff translation and sussing out meaning from everyday conservations even if you don’t catch every word becomes easier.

50+ words that are the same in English & Spanish – YouTube

Contact RVF International to learn more about Spain, Spanish, and teaching English abroad

Our one mission is to place our clients – like you – who are interested in beginning a new career as English as a second language (ESL) teachers in Spain in high-paying positions throughout the country.

If this sounds like something you could see yourself doing, whether for a year or a decade, contact us and we’ll get be happy to discuss more the work we do.

In the interim, if you’re still in the early stages of selecting where you want to teach, consider browsing our blog post, 10 Reasons Why You Should Choose a Teach Abroad Program in Spain.

Until you make your ultimate decision, consider this your open-ended invitación (another English-Spanish cognate) to join us at RVF International.

Ben Bartee is a Bangkok-based American journalist, grant writer, political essayist, researcher, travel blogger, and amateur philosopher. Contact him on Linkedin and check out his portfolio.

The Ultimate Guide to Teaching English in Spain (2023)

The beauty of Spain is undeniable – the rich history, the sunny climate, the stunning architecture, and of course, the paella. But what if you could do more than just experience Spain as a tourist? What if you could immerse yourself in the culture and make a difference while doing it? With RVF International, you can do just that. Our “Teach English in Spain” program offers a unique opportunity to live and work in Spain while contributing to its rich educational landscape.

In this blog post, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to “Teach English in Spain,” and why you should choose our program to embark on this life-changing journey.

Why Teach English in Spain?

Teaching English abroad has always been a popular choice for globetrotters, but why specifically choose Spain? Aside from the obvious allure of living in a country that’s steeped in culture, tradition, and a vibrant lifestyle, teaching English in Spain has unique benefits.

  1. Language Acquisition: Living and working in Spain provides a great opportunity to learn or enhance your Spanish language skills. This could prove to be a valuable asset for your professional and personal life.
  2. Cultural Exchange: Teaching English in Spain isn’t just about imparting knowledge. It’s also about learning from your students and the people you meet, gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of Spanish culture.
  3. Travel Opportunities: Located in the heart of Europe, Spain is a gateway to numerous travel opportunities. Its excellent transport links make it easy to explore other European cities and countries during your free time.
  4. Work-Life Balance: The Spanish lifestyle prioritizes a good work-life balance. Siestas, long lunches, and late dinners are part of the culture, creating an environment that values relaxation and enjoyment just as much as hard work.

How to Teach English in Spain with RVF International

If you’re wondering how you can start teaching English in Spain, RVF International is here to guide you.

  1. Qualifications: Typically, a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) certification are required to teach English in Spain. However, each teaching opportunity may have its unique set of requirements.
  2. Apply with RVF International: RVF International simplifies the application process. We’ll guide you through every step, ensuring your transition to teaching English in Spain is as smooth as possible.
  3. Visa Process: We assist with the often complicated visa process, providing you with all the necessary information and support to ensure a successful application.
  4. Accommodation: Our team offers assistance in finding suitable accommodation, making sure you feel at home in your new environment.
  5. Ongoing Support: Once you begin teaching, our support doesn’t stop there. We provide ongoing assistance to ensure your experience of teaching English in Spain is a rewarding one.

A Day in the Life of an RVF International Teacher in Spain

Imagine waking up in the heart of Spain, ready to make a difference. As an English teacher, you’ll work with students of different age groups, imparting knowledge and skills that will serve them for a lifetime. Your lessons might involve traditional teaching methods, interactive activities, or language games. The goal is to create a fun and engaging environment where students are excited to learn English.

After teaching, you’ll have time to explore. This might involve strolling through historic streets, relaxing in a local café, or tasting delicious Spanish cuisine. On weekends, you may choose to travel, visiting Spain’s renowned landmarks or discovering hidden gems.

This is more than just a job – it’s a life-enriching experience that allows you to grow personally and professionally while making a meaningful impact.

Success Stories from RVF International’s Teach English in Spain Program

Don’t just take our word for it. Here are a few success stories from RVF International teachers who have transformed their lives by teaching English in Spain:

Kathryn from Michigan: “I felt very overwhelmed, frustrated, and wondered if coming to Spain was even worth the headache. A friend recommended that I reach out to RVF International and I am so thankful I did. RVF guided me through the aspects of my move to Spain that were causing a lot of anxiety. They quickly responded to my emails, answered any questions I had via a Skype call, and sent additional step by step resources to help me transition to living in Spain for a year. Even though I speak fluent Spanish and have spent a lot of time traveling abroad, working with RVF gave me the peace of mind and confidence along with the resources I needed to make this transition as smooth as possible.”

Kasey from Illinois: “RVF International was extremely helpful. They always responded to emails in a timely manner, they made the application process less stressful by giving detailed instructions, and they provided a handful of resources for all aspects of post application (housing, phone/internet, flights, etc). If you have any doubts regarding the application or housing or really any part of the entire process/experience, I strongly recommend using RVF. It will make everything much easier for you! I was very happy!”

Meghan from Texas: “I had a great year teaching and it was definitely because RVF International prepared me well beforehand. All the paperwork was laid out and easy to follow and someone was always there to help me. I always felt very secure and confident about moving across the world as RVF throughly answered everything thoroughly and quickly. Love them so much! Iʼd use them again and again and again!! Thank you! Iʼm jealous yʼall get to start from Step One with Harrison, it was such a great, exciting experience!”

If you’re ready to embark on an adventure that combines professional growth, cultural exchange, and the chance to make a difference, then teaching English in Spain with RVF International could be the perfect fit for you. So why wait? Start your journey today and experience the life-changing joy of teaching English in Spain!

Remember, at RVF International, we’re here to help you every step of the way, making your dream of teaching English in Spain a reality.

The Impact of Teaching English in Spain

Teaching English in Spain is more than just an exciting opportunity for personal and professional development; it also holds the potential for a significant impact on Spanish society. English, being a global language, serves as a gateway to opportunities for Spanish students. By teaching English, you’re equipping students with a tool that can broaden their academic and professional horizons.

Moreover, as an English teacher, you’re fostering cultural exchange. You bring your own cultural background to the classroom, enriching your students’ perspectives and facilitating mutual understanding. This cultural interchange is a critical component of our globalized world and can inspire students to explore beyond their borders.

The RVF International Teach English in Spain Program: What Sets Us Apart?

When it comes to choosing a “Teach English in Spain” program, you’ll find several options. But what sets RVF International apart?

  1. Comprehensive Support: From visa assistance to finding accommodation, our team provides you with comprehensive support. We’re with you every step of the way, making your transition to life in Spain as smooth as possible.
  2. Quality Training: RVF International is committed to delivering the highest standards of teaching training. Our optional TEFL course equips you with the necessary skills and knowledge to excel in teaching English in Spain.
  3. Community Engagement: We believe in the power of community. RVF International connects you with other English teachers in Spain, fostering a sense of belonging and camaraderie.
  4. Cultural Immersion: We go beyond just providing a job. Our program ensures that you’re fully immersed in Spanish culture, offering various cultural activities and travel opportunities.

FAQs on Teaching English in Spain with RVF International

1. What qualifications do I need to teach English in Spain?

Typically, to teach English in Spain, you need a bachelor’s degree and a TEFL certificate. However, each teaching position may have specific requirements. RVF International will guide you through the process, providing you with all the necessary information about qualifications and certifications.

2. Can I teach English in Spain without speaking Spanish?

Yes, you can! While knowing Spanish can enrich your experience, it is not a requirement. The aim is to immerse the students in an English-speaking environment, which can often be achieved more effectively if the teacher doesn’t rely on the students’ native language.

3. How long are the teaching contracts in Spain?

Contract lengths can vary depending on the specific teaching position. However, most contracts last for an academic year, usually starting in September or October and finishing in May or June.

Teaching English in Spain with RVF International offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in Spanish culture while making a significant impact on the lives of students. Embark on this incredible journey and discover the joy of living and working in one of the most vibrant countries in the world.

Are you ready to make a difference and enrich your life with unforgettable experiences? Then, join our Teach English in Spain program today and let RVF International guide you every step of the way!

Navigating the Spanish Education System

As a prospective English teacher in Spain, it’s helpful to familiarize yourself with the Spanish education system. Public schools, private schools, and ‘concertado’ schools (semi-private schools), form the backbone of the Spanish education system. As an English teacher, you might find opportunities in any of these institutions.

Public schools offer a great chance to engage with a diverse set of students, while private schools often provide more resources. Concertado schools sit in the middle, offering unique advantages of both types. RVF International can assist you in understanding these schools’ dynamics and choosing the right placement for you.

Adventures Beyond the Classroom: Exploring Spain

Teaching English in Spain with RVF International isn’t just about classroom experiences; it’s about a cultural immersion that goes beyond the school walls. Spain’s landscapes are as diverse as its classrooms, offering a variety of adventures and experiences.

From the flamenco dancers of Andalusia, the stunning Gaudi’s creations in Barcelona, the running of the bulls in Pamplona, to the grandeur of Madrid’s Royal Palace, your weekends and holidays can be filled with rich cultural experiences. And let’s not forget about the delectable Spanish cuisine, where paella, tapas, and sangria are just the beginning.

Making a Home in Spain: Accommodation and Lifestyle

Spain’s lifestyle is attractive to many foreigners due to its relaxed pace and focus on enjoying life. The Spanish are known for their love of socializing, whether it’s at the local tapas bar or during a lively festival. As an English teacher living in Spain, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to partake in these cultural practices.

When it comes to accommodation, the cost and style can vary greatly between cities and regions. Whether you’re looking for a modern apartment in Barcelona, a traditional villa in Andalusia, or a cozy flat in Valencia, our team at RVF International is ready to help you find a place you can call home.

Benefits of Teaching English in Spain with RVF International

Choosing to teach English in Spain with RVF International opens up a host of benefits:

  1. In-depth Orientation: Our comprehensive orientation program ensures you’re well-prepared for your teaching experience.
  2. Networking Opportunities: Become part of our vast network of educators and professionals.
  3. Competitive Salary: Benefit from a competitive salary, allowing you to enjoy your life in Spain comfortably.
  4. Guided Tours: Take advantage of guided tours to historical sites, landmarks, and more.
  5. Spanish Classes: Improve your Spanish language skills with our group of tutors and available course.

How RVF International Assists with Your Visa Process

Moving to a new country requires paperwork, and RVF International understands how overwhelming this process can be. As part of our comprehensive support, we help simplify the visa process. From providing you with a checklist of required documents to guiding you through the application process, we’re with you every step of the way, ensuring a successful visa application.

Building Your Career: Long-term Benefits of Teaching English in Spain

The experience of teaching English in Spain offers numerous long-term career benefits. Firstly, it provides you with an international perspective, which is increasingly valued in our globalized world. Secondly, it equips you with unique skills such as cross-cultural communication and adaptability. Furthermore, if you choose to continue in the field of education, international teaching experience is highly regarded.

Embracing the Spanish Language

Living and working in Spain provides an excellent opportunity to learn Spanish or enhance your existing language skills. Whether through formal lessons, daily interactions, or friendly exchanges with your students, you’ll find numerous opportunities to practice and improve your Spanish. Fluency in a second language can open doors to new professional opportunities and enrich your personal life.

Cultural Etiquette: Adapting to Spanish Norms

Understanding Spanish norms and etiquette will help you build better relationships and blend more seamlessly into local life. From greetings and social customs to dining etiquette and the famed siesta, there’s much to learn about living in Spain. RVF International’s orientation and ongoing support will help you navigate these cultural nuances.

Becoming Part of a Global Community

When you choose to teach English in Spain with RVF International, you’re not just becoming a teacher – you’re joining a global community of educators. This network can provide support, share experiences, and offer friendship. Even after your teaching stint ends, the connections you make can last a lifetime.

Embarking on the journey to teach English in Spain might seem daunting, but with RVF International, you’re never alone. From the moment you express interest, through your time in the classroom, to when you’re exploring the scenic landscapes of Spain, we’re here to ensure your experience is enriching, rewarding, and unforgettable.

Are you ready to make a difference, grow professionally, and experience the beauty and culture of Spain? Join RVF International’s Teach English in Spain program today and start your adventure. We’re excited to guide you every step of the way!

Why Spain Is the Best Destination for Teaching English Abroad

In the past few years, teaching English abroad has emerged as a popular choice for many, offering a chance to travel, explore different cultures, and make a meaningful contribution to local communities. Among the myriad of options, Spain stands out as a top destination. But why exactly is Spain considered the ultimate location for teaching English abroad? Let’s delve into the unique features that make Spain a remarkable choice.

A Vibrant Culture

One of the prime reasons that draw people to Spain is the vibrant culture. Rich in tradition and festivities, Spain presents a captivating mix of old-world charm and modern vivacity. From the flamenco rhythms of Andalusia to the architectural marvels of Barcelona, there’s a wealth of culture to explore. As an English teacher, immersing yourself in this environment can enrich your personal life while also providing valuable context for your teaching.

High Demand for English Teachers

With globalization influencing every corner of the world, English is more crucial than ever. In Spain, the demand for English teachers is exceptionally high. Whether it’s in metropolitan cities like Madrid and Barcelona or rural areas of Andalusia, opportunities abound. This demand ensures a steady stream of teaching positions, often with attractive benefits such as free accommodation, Spanish lessons, and ample vacation time.

Favorable Work-Life Balance

Spain is renowned for its balanced approach to life and work. The Spanish lifestyle includes the famous siesta, where businesses shut down for a couple of hours in the afternoon, allowing everyone a breather. This balance is reflected in teaching jobs too, with manageable work hours that leave plenty of time for exploration, language learning, and immersing yourself in Spanish life.

Learning Spanish

Living and working in Spain offers an unrivaled opportunity to learn or improve your Spanish. Fluency in Spanish can be a fantastic addition to your resume, opening doors to further international opportunities. Being immersed in a Spanish-speaking environment while teaching English accelerates language acquisition, enhancing your bilingual skills.

Exquisite Cuisine

No mention of Spain is complete without a nod to its delightful cuisine. The country is a gastronomical paradise, known for its tapas, paella, gazpacho, and of course, the world-class wine. Teaching in Spain allows you to explore this culinary landscape, making it a delicious experience in more ways than one.

Travel Opportunities

Spain’s geographical location makes it an excellent hub for travel. Within Spain, the efficient public transportation system enables you to explore diverse landscapes, from the sandy beaches of Costa del Sol to the snowy peaks of Sierra Nevada. Plus, Spain’s proximity to other European countries allows for convenient weekend getaways, making it perfect for travel enthusiasts.

Warm and Welcoming Locals

Perhaps the most enriching aspect of teaching English in Spain is the chance to engage with warm and welcoming locals. Spanish people are known for their hospitality, love for life, and strong sense of community. Forming bonds with your students and their families can lead to lifelong friendships, making your teaching stint much more than just a job.

Engaging with the Education System

Spain’s education system, like its culture, is unique and diverse. It provides an excellent environment for teachers looking to broaden their pedagogical perspectives. From primary schools to language academies and universities, you’ll find a range of teaching opportunities. Engaging with Spain’s education system enables you to learn new teaching methodologies, understand different learning attitudes, and appreciate the importance of bilingual education. With English being highly sought after, you as a teacher will be playing a crucial role in shaping the future generations of Spanish speakers.

Cultural Immersion through Festivals

Spain’s cultural tapestry is rich and varied, offering teachers unique opportunities for cultural immersion. One of the best ways to experience this is through Spain’s plethora of vibrant festivals. From the fiery passion of the Seville Fair to the world-famous Running of the Bulls in Pamplona and the unique La Tomatina in Buñol, there is a festival for everyone. Experiencing these festivities first-hand gives teachers an in-depth understanding of local traditions and customs. You will have stories to tell that go beyond what any guidebook can offer.

Historical Insight and Architectural Marvels

Spain is steeped in history, and its architecture tells a story of a diverse past, from Roman ruins to Moorish palaces and modernist structures. As a teacher in Spain, you will have the chance to witness these architectural marvels in person. Cities like Granada, with the stunning Alhambra, Seville with its impressive Cathedral, and of course, Barcelona, home to Gaudi’s masterpieces, are all brimming with historical insights and beauty. This historical and architectural exploration offers a tangible way to connect with Spain’s past, enriching your overall teaching experience.

Strong Expat Community

One of the advantages of choosing Spain as your destination is the strong expat community. With teachers coming in from various parts of the world, you’ll find a supportive network of like-minded individuals. This community can be an excellent source of comfort, guidance, and friendship. Participating in social events, language exchange meetups, and travel groups are great ways to establish connections. These networks can make your transition smoother and your stay in Spain much more enjoyable.

Exploring the Natural Beauty

Spain’s natural beauty is as diverse as its culture. From the sun-kissed beaches of the Mediterranean and the rugged peaks of the Pyrenees to the verdant landscapes of the north and the desert of Almeria, Spain offers a myriad of nature exploration opportunities. Hiking, cycling, surfing, or simply relaxing by the beach can be a part of your weekend plans. This rich geographical variety ensures that you have ample opportunities to relax and unwind after a week of teaching.

In conclusion, Spain offers an incomparable mix of cultural richness, professional opportunities, and personal growth that make it an ideal destination for teaching English abroad. Whether you’re a seasoned teacher or a fresh graduate, teaching in Spain can be a transformative experience, offering insights and experiences that extend far beyond the classroom. If you’re considering a teaching journey abroad, there are very few places as appealing as Spain.

But remember, as much as we’ve sung praises, it’s crucial to research and prepare thoroughly before embarking on your teach-abroad journey. Learning about Spain’s educational system, visa requirements, and living costs will equip you to make the most out of your experience. Here’s to a rewarding and exciting adventure in the beautiful, vibrant, and unforgettable landscapes of Spain. If your dreams involve broadening your horizons while making a positive impact, Spain awaits you with open arms. Get ready to embrace the rich culture, learn a new language, enjoy delicious cuisine, and forge meaningful connections as you embark on the rewarding journey of teaching English in Spain. Happy teaching!


In conclusion, Spain offers an enriching blend of cultural immersion, professional development, and personal growth, making it an unparalleled destination for teaching English abroad. RVF International invites you to be part of this incredible journey.

Are you ready to transform your life and the lives of your future students? Are you prepared to embrace a new language, relish the tantalizing Spanish cuisine, and create meaningful connections with warm-hearted locals? If your answer is a resounding “Yes,” then it’s time to take the leap!

Contact RVF International today and let us guide you through your teach-abroad journey in Spain. We are more than ready to assist you with all the information, resources, and support you need to make your dream of teaching English in Spain a reality. So, what are you waiting for? Reach out to us today, and let’s make a difference together!