EL CENTRO DE INGLÉS, ANDUJAR, JAEN (SPAIN)
- History of the school
Julie Hetherington has been owner/director and “just another teacher” of El Centro de Inglés, Andújar (Jaén) since 1988 and more recently co-owner of ECI IDIOMAS Bailen. She has a BA in Applied Language Studies and is CELTA and DELTA qualified. She has worked on teacher training programmes with Spanish teachers of English for the Andalusian Education Authorities, the RSA Diploma (now DELTA) with International House London and the DOTE (Diploma for Overseas Teachers of English) with The British Council Madrid. She has worked as an oral examiner for the University of Cambridge examinations and as a teacher trainer for the Trinity College London oral exams.
The school is a preparation centre for the University of Cambridge exams and an official centre for the Trinity College London GESE and ISE exams.
The school is a member of A.C.E.I.A. (La Asociacíon de Centros de Enseñanza de Idiomas de Andalucía) which is part of F.E.C.E.I. (La Federacíon Española de Centros de Enseñanza de Idiomas).
- The school premises and its location in the town
The school moved into purpose- built premises in June 2000 and is situated on the ground floor of a large Andalusian house in the centre of Andújar. It is in a quiet, pedestrianized street. The teaching area is organised around a central patio full of plants and with plenty of natural light in the classrooms. All the classrooms have central heating and air conditioning. In the main school there are seven classrooms, a kitchenette with fridge, microwave and water cooler, a large well stocked staff room (which doubles as a classroom), and an administrative area with a book and DVD lending library.
Our classrooms have modern furniture, some of the rooms have tables and chairs and others have desk chairs. There is also a bookcase in each room along with a teacher’s table and chair. Teachers usually have their own classroom but may have to change at times during the day depending on the size of their class. There are two specially adapted primary classrooms for 4 to 6 years. All our teaching classrooms including the staffroom have interactive whiteboards (E-beam), computers/laptops and internet access. There are plenty of corkboards on the walls for putting up work. Each teacher has an activity box of materials (pens, scissors, paper etc) and their own copy of the books, itools etc they will be teaching with.
There are both ethernet and wifi connections in each classroom and wifi amplifiers in various parts of the school to provide better internet connection for both classroom and online teaching.
Our annex has 3 modern classrooms each room with a laptop, whiteboard and ebeam. There is a small patio at the rear of the school.
- The Staff
There are 10 EFL teachers, a director, a director of studies, course coordinator/teacher trainer and two secretaries. Some of our teachers are also Cambridge oral examiners. Teachers have a university degree or an equivalent higher education qualification. Although a university degree is preferred, consideration is given to teachers with experience and maturity. Our teachers are CELTA/TrinityTESOL (or similar) qualified. Some of our staff are DELTA qualified.
Our ideal teacher would have a Grade A/B CELTA/Trinity qualification and experience at all levels. In the case of a Grade C, we require at least two years EFL experience. However, we do accept other types of EFL certificates and experience. We are particularly interested in teachers who have experience of teaching children and have taught in Spain before. Experience of the Cambridge University exams and the Trinity College GESE and ISE exams would be a distinct advantage. A working knowledge of Spanish is also important. Computer and internet skills are essential. Some of our teachers have been with us for a several years now so we don’t normally have a big staff turnover.
- Courses offered
We offer general EFL courses from total beginners to proficiency level, to children, teenagers and adults from the age of 4 upwards. New teachers are not normally asked to teach students younger than 8 years unless they have previous experience. Only in very special circumstances would they be asked to teach this age group, and if so, they would receive help and support from the ADOS/Director of Studies and more experienced staff. Teachers who have Cambridge exam groups or Cambridge skills training groups, will receive support and monitoring.
Students in this centre can prepare for the Cambridge exams (KET, PET, FCE, CAE, CPE and Linguaskill) and the Trinity College oral exams Grade 1-12 and the ISE (Integrated Skills in English) exams. We pride ourselves on our excellent exam pass rate. The school guarantees a maximum of 12 students per class
(4/5 years = 8 students per class, 6 years =10 students per class although this may vary depending on room capacity). All students are assessed by means of an oral and a written test before they go into a group. They are placed in groups according to their school year and level (4 years, 5 years, 6 years, 7 years, 8-10 years, 10-12 years, 13-16 years, 17- 18 years, adults). We try to keep the groups to the same school year. Students who become too strong/weak for the group are moved whenever possible to another group according to their level. Weaker students can also attend tutorial (an extra help class on a 1 to 1 basis) to help boost their level. Normally they are recommended for tutorial by their teacher, or they can specifically request it.
In July we offer one- month intensive exam courses. There may be work available in this month. The school closes in August.
- Profile of the types of students who attend our school
Most of the students live locally. They attend English classes from a very young age until they finish school and go away to university. Many students go to Jáen University and live at home, so they attend classes in the evenings. Most of the adults live locally or have come to the town to work.
We have a lot of childrens’ classes but perhaps the highest percentage of students fall into the young teenager category. We are also experiencing an increase in students finishing university degrees and secondary school teachers who specifically need to obtain a B1, B2 or C1. We also have a number of teenagers and adults preparing for C2 level.
- Typical teaching timetable
There is very little demand for morning classes. Afternoon timetables usually begin at 4.00 or 4.30pm. This year in order to stagger entry times, some classes have begun at 3.45pm. Times may vary by 10 minutes depending on restrictions in place in September.
The first class is either a 60 or 90 minute class followed by two 60 minute classes, with a 30 minute break and we finish the evening with a 90 minute class. An average day involves 4.5-5 hours teaching. There are no Saturday classes. Classes normally finish at 7.30pm on a Friday afternoon. An average timetable would be 21-22 contact teaching hours. Teachers are paid full time for 34 hours in total since the remaining hours are put in preparing classes, attending teachers’ meetings and carrying out administrative duties (eg: reports, registers, seeing parents etc). If more hours are available, the salary would go up in accordance with teaching hours. Teachers on part time contracts of 20 hours or less will be paid preparation time proportionally.
We expect to see proof of careful lesson planning/timetabling and the prompt execution of administrative duties when required. The school is open from 10 to 1.30 pm in the mornings. Teachers need to be in school in the morning to plan classes. This is class preparation time paid by the school, not contact teaching hours. Teachers must sign in and sign out each day on an attendance register as this is a legal requirement by Spanish law.
TEACHING MATERIALS AND RESOURCES
We have all the latest supplementary EFL books and materials since we place a lot of emphasis on teacher development in this school. We also use the latest course books and itools. We are always keen to buy new materials and welcome suggestions. We have an extensive EFL teaching library which is constantly being up-dated and added to. We subscribe to various EFL publications and on- line teaching sites and magazines. There is a book, magazine and DVD lending library for students and teachers. In the staffroom there are filing cabinets with supplementary materials for each course book.
We use the following course books depending on age and level. In some age groups we may be in the process of changing course books which is why there are two or three different course books at some levels.
|Children||4 years||Super Safari 2||Cambridge|
|5 years||Super Minds Starter/Super Safari 3||Cambridge|
|6 years||Ace1/Super Minds 1||Oxford/Cambridge|
|7 years||Super Minds 2/Big Bright Ideas 2||Oxford/Cambridge|
|8-9 years||Big Bright Ideas 3||Oxford|
|Teenagers||10-11||Big Bright Ideas 4/ Be Curious 4||Oxford/Cambridge|
|11-12||Big Bright Idea 5/ Gold Experience A2||Oxford/Pearson|
|B1||Prepare 5/New Gold Experience B1/ Optimise B1||Pearson/Macmillan|
|B2||Optimise B1+/Optimise B2||Macmillan|
|C1||Gold Experience C1||Pearson|
|English File Elementary 3rd edn||Oxford|
|English File Pre-Int 3rd edn||Oxford|
|English File Int 3rd edn/Speakout Int||Oxford/Pearson|
|English File Upper||Oxford|
|Straight to First (intensive courses)||Pearson|
|Gold Experience C1/Ready for Advanced||Pearson|
|TRINITY||ISE||Pass Trinity||Black Cat|
- Brief details on the population, history, geographical location and principal economic activities
Andújar is a fast growing, up and coming town in the south-east of Spain. It has a population of approximately 40,000 inhabitants. The main industry is agriculture, olive oil production and furniture making. The town itself goes back a long time in history. Most civilisations from the prehistoric times to modern day have passed through the town. It was a main trading route for the Romans and the Moors who set up settlements on the banks of the river Guadalquivir The town reached its splendour in The Golden Age when many families became wealthy through trading with the colonies in newly discovered America. Today we can still see signs of this wealth in the few beautiful houses and old palaces which still exist in Andújar. The town still preserves a few monuments in the old quarter. It also has some beautiful churches. There are several museums including an archeological museum, a modern art museum and a museum about the history of honey making (an important industry here in the Sierra of Andujar).
The modern town has grown considerably over the past few years. It has all the usual big supermarkets such Lidl, Día, Aldi and Mercadona and a Carrefour hypermarket. There is also a McDonalds, Burger King a multicinema, two outdoor pools (open June to September), one municipal indoor pool with a gym, a sports stadium, several private gyms, a wide variety of shops and boutiques, bars, restaurants and discos.
“Tapas” is a big thing in Andujar with a proliferation of new gastrobars. Tapas are cheap and sometimes come free when you buy a drink. The town night life tends to be more at the weekends in winter. But as soon as the good weather arrives around Carnival time, the street terraces and bars come to life.
On Tuesday morning there is a continental market. The indoor fruit and vegetable market is in the town centre and is open from 8-2 every day (except Sunday).
Andújar is ideally situated for most places since the N4 motorway goes past the town from north to south, east to west. And you can get a train or a bus to most places although it might be necessary to change in Jáen or Córdoba. At the weekends you can get away and visit some of the towns and villages in the province. The whole of the province of Jaen is full of history and interesting places to visit. If you want to venture further afield, why not visit the capital of the province, Jáen, which is just 40 minutes away by motorway. Going south, Granada is only an hour and 15 minutes away and you can ski there in Sierra Nevada from early December to late April. Or you could go to Córdoba, (40 minutes by motorway) or on to Seville (two hours away). There are several high-speed trains from Andujar to Seville passing through Cordoba (approx. 1.5- 2 hours).
If you want to get down to the coast for the weekend, Huelva or Cádiz are three and a half hours away by car. Málaga is a nearer option just over two hours away. The Portuguese Algarve is just 4 hours away.
There is also an excellent cheap, fast, 24- hour bus service to Madrid which leaves several times a day. The journey takes about three and a half hours and some buses go direct to Madrid Barajas airport. There are also some car rental companies in Andujar which rent out on a daily basis.
If you want to stay local, you can go up to the Sierra Morena mountains where you can have a look round the Visitors’ Centre, go fishing, walking or just relax and observe the beautiful landscape and wildlife and visit the two reservoirs. You can even rent a rural holiday cottage for a very reasonable rate. If you don’t want to move out of Andujar, you can take a walk round the Parque Del Cipres (a beautiful natural park with an interesting visitors’ centre and a museum about beekeeping and the tradition of honey making).
Weatherwise, Andújar tends to go from one extreme to another. There is no pronounced autumn or spring. It is very cold and quite damp in the winter months (late November to the end of March) and very hot from mid-May onwards. There are definitely far more hours of sunshine than rain.
One of the biggest attractions of Andújar is the “Romeria” or “Pilgrimmage of The Virgen de la Cabeza”. It is the second largest pilgrimmage in Spain after “El Rocio” and it is celebrated the last weekend of April. It is a really incredible experience which should not be missed on any account. Apart from the Romeria, Carnival (February), Bonfire Night (Las Candelas), Easter Week (Semana Santa), the local street fairs (Verbenas) in May and the Fair (Feria) 8-12 September are all worth a visit.
- It’s a quiet, family orientated town with a very low crime rate.
- Andújar is geographically well situated for travelling to other places.
- The cost of living and accommodation is cheap in comparison to the big cities making it possible to rent a flat on your own.
- People are warm and friendly.
- Everything is within walking distance.
- The weather, street life and optimistic attitude of the people.
- Excellent local cuisine and a wide variety of fresh produce in the local market.
- There is a beautiful natural park only 20 minutes into the national park and an urban park, popular with walkers, within walking distance from the centre.
- Potential problems
- The weather. It is extreme at times ie: very hot in summer and very cold in winter. Spanish homes don’t always have central heating so a winter wardrobe is necessary.
- The pollen count. This is olive tree country and the pollen is high from April to June.
- The town is quiet in winter and people don’t tend to go out much in the week.
- It is sometimes difficult to get to places by public transport after work on a Friday night, so you might need to leave on a Saturday morning). If you want to do a lot of travelling, you do need a car so rent or use carpooling apps such as Bla Bla Car.
- Quite an insular town if you don’t speak the language but an ideal opportunity to learn Spanish and get to know the real Spain.
- The EFL teaching market here in Spain is generally children and teenager orientated so if you only want to teach adults then this is the wrong place to look.
- Details on the cost of living
The cost of living is relatively cheap in comparison with other places in Spain.
|A three-bedroomed, flat. Community bills vary from 10 -25 euros per month. Water and electricity will depend on what you use. Electricity bills are only really heavy in the winter months (Dec – late Feb). Water and electricity plus community bills are paid separately.||350 – 400 euros per month|
|A meal out (set menu of the day)||8 -12€|
|Three course menu in a more classy restaurant (with wine) per person||20- 30€|
|Beer and “tapa”||2,00 – 2,50€|
|Return ticket on the bus to Madrid (online purchase)||35€|
|Return bus ticket to Malaga||40€|
|Return ticket to Seville||36€|
|Weekly shopping bill for one person||40€|
|Gas butane bottle (for the water heater)||13€|
|Bottle of reasonable wine||3,00€|
|Monthly rental of a garage||40-60 €|
|Car rental (not including insurance or extras)||check prices|
N.B. Prices are approximate
- Professional Development
A lot of emphasis is placed on teacher training at the school. This takes the form of both inhouse and external training. There is normally one teachers’meeting each week but during busier times of the term, a second shorter meeting may take place. Teachers are paid in their monthly salary to attend these meetings since they form a part of their working conditions and teacher development. The meetings can take the form of an input session, presentation of new materials, brainstorming sessions etc or simply an opportunity for teachers to get together and exchange ideas and ask for help. External training sessions take the form of EFL training courses organised by ACEIA (November, Seville), ACEIA JAEN (January, Jaen) and FECEI (February, Madrid) or by some of the EFL publishing companies. They usually take place on a Saturday (in Seville, Granada, Malaga or Cordoba). There is usually the opportunity to attend at least one of these during the year. Courses and expenses are subsidised by the school. Teachers also attend workshops organized by the University of Cambridge and Trinity College which focus on specific exams. External workshops are at present online.
During the year, teachers will get the opportunity to observe each other teaching (peer observations) and they will also be observed by a senior member of staff. We also do “pop in” observations from time to time. Observations are designed to help you develop as a teacher and put into practice new ideas. More experienced members of staff are on hand to help new teachers with ideas and lesson planning, particularly at the beginning of term.
This is not difficult to find in Andújar. We have a list of contacts who regularly rent flats to teachers at the school. We also have an agent (who doesn’t charge us) who will show you round flats advertised on the internet (see our FAQ’s section). The school will give you help in finding a flat, sorting out contracts and moving in since it is important to us that you feel settled as soon as possible. This is one of the reasons we ask teachers to come out earlier since the best flats go quickly with new teachers arriving to start in the secondary schools around the same time as our teachers. Teachers usually stay in a hotel on arrival for at least the first day until they have had a look at some flats. Check out prices on www.booking.com. The Hotel Del Val is a good option since it has a pool and it is a short walk to the centre and the school. Also check out short term accommodation on Air BnB.
The monthly rent of a flat may also include community bills (general maintenance and cleaning of the block) or you may have to pay this separately. However, community charges are very low (between 10 € and 25 € a month depending on the facilities in the building). Water (includes refuse collection), electricity and gas are not included. You will also have to pay one months’ rent in advance. The school will help you with contract signing. The school makes a one-off payment of 150 euros settling in allowance to new teachers to Spain on successful completion of a two-month trial period.
- Medical care
We can only offer contracts to teachers who are members of the EU (or have a work permit which authorizes them to work in Spain) because of the complications of getting work permits for non-EU members. As a member of the EU, you are covered by the NHS here in Spain. The first thing we do when a teacher arrives, is get them signed up with the Spanish NHS (known as the Servicio Andaluz de Salud). We will help you with the paperwork. Each teacher is also covered by a private 24 hour a day insurance scheme which covers “work related accidents and civil responsibility”. You are covered both medically and legally for any incident in the workplace. During the time you work for the school you will also be offered a full, private medical check-up. It is not compulsory, but many teachers request one since it is a good opportunity to get a thorough, free medical check-up.
The collective wage agreement for EFL teachers in Spain does not cover a teacher’s salary 100% when they are off sick. The employer continues to pay the employees stamp whilst they are off, but the first 3 days wages are deducted from the employee’s salary. From day 4-20 only 60% of the basic salary is paid and from day 21 onwards 75% of the basic salary. However, El Centro de Inglés will normally cover teachers on full pay for the first 3 days if a doctor’s note is provided. We strongly recommend you bring an EHIC (a European Health Insurance Card).
- Useful information regarding travel to Andújar.
There are plenty of cheap flights from Britain to Spain. We suggest you fly to Málaga, Madrid, Seville or Granada as your nearest airport. Once you know your flight times, we can tell you bus/train times. Someone will pick you up in Andújar and accompany you to the hotel/flat. We will also show you how to get to the school and how to get about the town on your first few days until you settle in. If you decide to travel by train, you can come direct to Andújar from Madrid or Málaga via Cordoba. The carpooling company Bla Bla Car is also a popular means of transport.
WORKING AT EL CENTRO DE INGLES
El Centro de Inglés offers a very competitive salary. You will find our wages are proportionally higher and the number of teaching hours lower than many language schools in the capital cities in Spain. The cost of living in a town such as Andujar in terms of rent and zero transport costs is considerably cheaper than in a large city.
Teachers are paid in accordance with Spanish law requirements. The monthly wage includes full National Health cover (“Seguridad Social”), the proportional part of the extra pay agreement (“paga extraordinaria”), of which there are two extra payments each year (divided up proportionally in your salary over 9.5 months) and tax (“retenciones”) which is usually between 2% and 12% depending on individual tax circumstances.
From September to December expect to pay around 2% if you haven’t worked in Spain previously. However as from January your tax will be calculated on the basis of what you could earn in the whole financial year and therefore tax will be around 10% and 12%. This is deducted from your wages directly (this could mean deductions of approx 150 euros on your salary as from January) and may be claimed back at the end of the Spanish financial year in April if owed. At present the basic starting salary is 1.377,44 euros (gross salary) for 21 teaching hours (approx. 1.200 euros net). This is a fixed amount each month irrespective of the number of days per calendar month. This covers not only the 21 contact hours but also all the normal teaching duties (eg: class preparation and administration, attending meetings, parents and individual student tutorials etc) taking you up to a total of 34 hours per week (a full- time teaching contract).
Holiday pay amounts to 2.5 days per calendar month worked and will be settled at the end of your contract. For a 9.5- month contract it normally works out to approximately 23 days. Should you be eligible for unemployment benefit, you won’t be able to claim this until you have used up these days.
There is an additional bonus for teachers holding the DELTA (42,99 euros) or a PGCE/MA/YLE qualification (25,52 euros). For every three full years worked in the school we pay an increment (25,52 euros). Teachers may occasionally be asked to cover for sick colleagues and will be paid or offered time off. At the beginning of term, some teachers may find they don’t have their full teaching hours. We still pay the stipulated salary, but these hours will be taken into account and you will be expected to put these hours in before your contract finishes (invigilating exams, marking tests for exams, helping with admin) otherwise they will be deducted at the end of the contract.
The school closes for Christmas (just over two weeks) and Easter (one week). We also close on all national, regional and local holidays (“fiestas”) and one to two days during the “Romeria”. These are paid holidays and are not deducted from your annual holiday allowance.
The school term starts this year on WEDNESDAY 15th SEPTEMBER 2021 and will finish on 24th JUNE 2022. New teachers will need to be in Andújar a few days before this date (no later than Thursday 9th September) in order to settle in, find a flat and attend induction meetings.
- Time off
Teachers sometimes ask us for days off. Since we don’t have a stand-by teacher, it is not always possible to grant such leave. The school will consider such requests. Leave will be granted at the discretion of the director. Should you be able to take time off, this will be taken in the form of holiday days owing at the end of the contract. In the case of a close family bereavement, the school will cover a teacher on full pay for up to three days should he/she need to return home.
- Legal documents
Since Spain’s entry into the EU, it is no longer necessary to apply for a work permit. As a member of the EU you need to register with the police in Jaén within 3 months of your arrival in Spain and will be given an EU resident’s card. All members of the EU need to carry this card with them at all times. The school will make an appointment for you and accompany you to Jaen. Before you apply for the certificate, you need a tax number (NIE number) in order to sign your contract and get it approved by the employment office. We apply for this from the local police once we have a signed photocopy of your passport. It normally takes 24 hours. It also means you won’t get charged emergency tax at 25% if we can get your tax number before you sign your contract. We cannot offer employment to non- EU teachers including British citizens at present due to VISA requirements unless they already have a Spanish NIE number.
If you have worked in Spain before, you can use the same tax number (NIE). You should also bring your INEM (unemployment registration) card with you if you were issued with one. Bring all original documents of all teaching certificates with you.
Since this position involves working with children, teachers will be required to provide an International Child Protection Certificate (ICPC) from their country of origin. They must cover the cost of this document themselves and it is only valid for the school they are working at. Once in Spain you will need to apply for a Spanish police check (“certificado de penales”). The school will apply for this for you via an electronic signature. Both documents will be retained by the school during the time you work at El Centro de Ingles and returned on departure. Without these two documents you cannot work legally in Spain.
- Renewal of contract
We are only too happy to renew a contract where the teacher has adapted well to working at the school and both parties are happy. A teacher who completes a full school year (9.5 months) with the school will be eligible for a supplement on return in September of the new school year.
The type of teacher we are looking for needs to be independent, enthusiastic and dedicated to teaching. This is not a job for people looking for a gap year job. You should be sociable and willing to integrate into the local community if you want to get the most out of your stay in Andújar and experience the real Spain. An open mind, an ability to adapt and be flexible about teaching different age groups and levels is very important.
Working for El Centro de Inglés will give you an excellent grounding in all aspects of EFL teaching and exam preparation and experience of teaching different exam levels. During your time with us, we will endeavour to help you as much as possible in order to make our working relationship enjoyable and memorable.
The school has been working online and face to face during the 2021-2022 academic year due to Coronovirus restrictions. It is our intention to try to return to full classroom teaching in September, but this will all depend on the current situation and permitted classroom capacity. There may still be some online teaching, so teachers need to be prepared for this eventuality and have experience of teaching online using platforms such as Zoom. Full training will be given during induction if necessary.
For further information, please contact:
El Centro de Inglés
Caldereros 7, bajo