Spanish is one of the most spoken languages after Mandarin, a widely spoken language in China. It has several native speakers, ranging from Mexico, Costa Rica, Mainland Spain to Argentina.
Give its popularity and the interest people have in being multilingual, Spanish teachers are always in high demand. You can be called upon to teach a Spanish online course or join a language institute to help people from different parts of the world learn this beautiful language.
This article will look at some of the questions you are likely to face if you decide to pursue your interest in teaching Spanish. Take a look at the following:
1. Why Are You Interested in This Role?
This is a common opening question in interviews that you should be familiar with by now. The interviewer wants to know what irked your interest in this particular job listing. This is your first chance to sell yourself and convince the interviewer that you deserve the job.
I have been teaching Spanish for quite some time since I moved to this country. I was born in mainland Spain before coming to the States to pursue my post-high school education. Despite my vast experience, I have not found an opening where I can work remotely. I, therefore, decided to apply when I came across your job listing. I am positive that I will use my skills and vast experience to execute any roles that come with it successfully.
2. What are the Main Roles of a Spanish Teacher?
What does a Spanish teacher do? Do you understand some of your mandates, and are you prepared for them? You can either draw from your experience or the job description when answering this question.
Like any other ordinary teacher, a Spanish teacher creates lesson plans, prepares classroom activities, arranges teaching materials, evaluates student performance, and maintains classroom records. Depending on the institution, they may also meet with parents, teachers, and any other professional.
3. What are the Qualities That a Spanish Teacher Needs to Be Effective?
The interviewer wants to know if you understand what makes an excellent Spanish teacher. Can you mention all the attributes, abilities, skills, and behaviors one needs to be good at this job? You can describe yourself if convinced that you are an excellent Spanish teacher.
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An excellent Spanish teacher should be patient and passionate when teaching the language. He/she should encourage students to participate, connect to the student’s first language, personalize the learning environment; use modern teaching methods, and track students’ learning developments.
4. Mention a Challenge that You Faced in Your Last Role and how You Overcame It
Nobody wants an employee who will keep complaining instead of finding solutions. You are therefore being assessed on how good you are at solving problems. Give an experience highlighting your problem-solving skills. However, do not mention a problem that you caused in the first place.
I was an online Spanish teacher working on a contractual basis for a learning institution in Asia. The main problem, therefore, was the time difference. I had to reorganize my day and wake up at 3 am, work till 9 am and call it a day. At first, it was pretty challenging, but I later got the hang of it for the six months my contract was active.
5. Describe Your Daily Routine
What are some of your daily activities/ roles as a Spanish teacher? Alternatively, how do you envision your day once you get this job? You can either use your experience to answer this question or dig around and find some helpful information.
I usually arrive early at the workplace and prepare my presentations for the day. Once the students arrive, we have small conversations where I ask them how they have been to foster good relations. Soon after, I lead a series of reading and translation exercises before delving into listening activities which come with a quiz. The rest of the day is spent giving assignments, meeting inherent classes, attending meetings, and tackling anything I had planned.
6. Briefly Describe Your Experience
You don’t need much experience to be a Spanish teacher. The best experience you can ever have is being a native Spanish speaker. Being born in Spain or any other country that recognizes Spanish as its first language increases your chances of landing the job. However, that does not mean that you won’t get the job if you are not. You can talk about your work, studies or escapades in some of these countries.
I am a native Spanish speaker born in Mainland Spain. I stayed in Spain for 25 years before coming to the United States in pursuit of higher education. I am therefore fluent in Spanish. I also pursued Education in college and therefore understand how to be a good teacher.
7. Mention a Strategy and Mindset Required for This Role
This is a straightforward question that you should not struggle to answer. Can you mention a way of working and a guiding perspective that has seen you flourish as a Spanish teacher? Ensure that you can relate both to the role at hand.
I have discovered that the right strategy when teaching many people a new language is constant reporting and monitoring. It helps one know which areas need improvement and also acts as a guide for other tutors. As for the right mindset, one needs to be positive and result-oriented.
8. Mention a Challenge that You Foresee in This Role
Have you researched and discovered some of the areas in the job description, work environment, or the overall job that may be problematic? Do not mention a challenge that will leave you looking incompetent.
The main challenge that I foresee in this role is the large student-to-teacher ratio. I will be responsible for over 200 students, and therefore personally monitoring everyone will be pretty challenging. However, I am sure that we will find a way of managing that.
9. How Do You Stay Motivated In this Role?
What keeps you going even when everything seems tough? Every job comes with its fair share of challenges that may demotivate you. You, therefore, need to have a source of motivation that can keep you going.
I love what I do. My passion for talking and teaching Spanish makes me wade through any challenge I may encounter in this role. I also have a strong support system that motivates and anchorages me whenever I face challenges.
10. Mention a Time That You Failed In this Role and the Lesson You Learnt
The interviewer wants to know whether you can be accountable for your mistakes and learn from them. Show an experience where you made a mistake and obtained a valuable lesson from it.
I did not take monitoring and reporting seriously during my first years in this job. Most of the time, I struggled to identify areas that needed improvement. Once I discovered how vital monitoring is, I have always made sure that I monitor learners’ progress.
11. Do You Have Any Teaching Methods that You Prefer When Teaching Spanish? Why?
This is an operational question assessing how you go about your job. Several institutions have since departed from teaching new languages through lectures and are more interested in means such as communicative language teaching. Therefore, even as you mention a method that you find effective, remember that it needs to be up to date.
I have discovered that the best method of teaching Spanish or a new language is blending communicative language teaching and individual approach. It ensures that both students are at par and can be monitored easily. I am also highly flexible and do not mind changing teaching methods and choosing the one with the highest results.
12. How Do You Normally Deal with Disruptive Students?
Expect to run into problematic students now that you are a teacher. Even though you need to be understanding and accommodating, you must also be a disciplinarian. A few disruptive students should not affect other’s quest for knowledge. Show that you can follow the laid down procedures in the school or institution and keep the class in order. However, if you are dealing with paying/private clients, you may need to adjust the quality or method of your teaching.
In all my years teaching in public schools, I have made it a norm to establish ground rules at the beginning of each semester/ term. I usually warn students from interfering with the learning of their counterparts, or they will face disciplinary actions. However, I also take time to understand the reasons for disruption. I do away with the agent if it is an external factor or refer the student to the school counselor if it is an internal factor. However, I do not shy away from taking immediate disciplinary action if it is purely malicious.
13. Why Did You Choose Our Institution?
You should be clever when applying for a job. You need to do your homework well and identify several things in the workplace that excite you. Answers such as ‘because I needed a job’ should be avoided since they will cost you your chance. Ensure that you praise the school and mention some of the nice things that you may have discovered.
I have always wanted to work with children and generally people from disadvantaged backgrounds. Your school is part of a shelter for orphans and poor single mothers who wish to continue their education. It, therefore, fits that criterion. I believe that nothing is as rewarding as offering my services to children and helping others get a second chance in life. It will therefore be such an honor if I am allowed to teach Spanish here.
14. How Do Reporting and Monitoring Help You in Your Job?
Monitoring and reporting are requirements in several schools and institutes and will constitute your mandates as a Spanish teacher. You should show that you care for your student’s performance and grades and wouldn’t mind going the extra mile.
Monitoring helps me understand the progress of my students and areas that need improvement. I usually do that through monthly tests, which cover the things that we have learned. I have also found reporting to be essential as it helps me pass meaningful information to the institution’s leaders or my successor.
15. Which Students and Lessons Do You Love?
The interviewer wants to know your niche. Where will you feel better offering your services? Remember, everybody wants their employees to be at their best and deliver results. Therefore, use your personal experiences and preferences to answer this question.
I am a parent who is good with children, given that I am raising mine. I, therefore, prefer to work with groups of children as they hardly feign interest and are easy to connect to. I am highly experienced in teaching methods that can work for kids and can hold engaging lessons with them while maintaining high discipline levels. However, this does not mean that I cannot teach other groups of learners. I have no prejudices at all and can offer my services anywhere when called upon.
16. How Do You Normally Motivate Your Students to Work Hard?
Learning a new language is pretty challenging and may therefore take a significant toll on your students. As a teacher, you should ensure that they are always willing to learn and do better in their education. Mention some of the motivation techniques that you have used in your line of work.
I understand just how important it is to motivate learners when teaching a new language. At the end of every month, I usually have quizzes where the top three students are awarded certificates and recognized either by the class or the entire institute. I also have personal sessions with the students where I encourage them to work hard and even offer help on areas they may find challenging.
17. Does Technology Make Your Work Easier?
The interviewer wants to know the impact of technology on your work. The world is rapidly changing, and most things are done online nowadays, unlike in previous years. Mention some of the positive things that technology has made possible in your line of work.
Technology has greatly improved/ impacted my work as a Spanish teacher. I can conduct most of my follow-up classes at the comfort of my home, thanks to platforms such as Zoom and Teams. I can also share materials with learners in soft copies, who can, in turn, submit their work on time. ( Do not deviate from what the interviewer has asked. Mention only the improvements and not the dull sides)
18. What Will We See if We Walk into Your Classroom As You Teach?
How do you usually conduct your classes? What are some of the things that anyone will recognize if they ambush you as you teach? You should convince the interviewer that you are good at your job. Ensure that you keep your class organized at all times.
I love interactive sessions. Therefore, if you walk into my classroom in the middle of the lesson, be sure to find an adequately organized class with participating students. I also ensure that the class is disciplined at all times, and therefore, if you randomly make an appearance, you will find a well-behaved group of learners.
19. How Many Languages Can You Speak?
Unless you are teaching in a purely Spanish institution, you need to be bilingual to be a Spanish teacher. You have to refer to your student’s first or common language when teaching, meaning that you must be in a position to speak both languages. Tell the interviewer all the languages that you can speak. The more, the merrier.
I was born in Mainland Spain and can therefore speak fluent Spanish. I attended my post-high school education in Germany, where I learned a great deal of German. Shortly after, I was posted in the United States, where I learned English. I can therefore speak Spanish, German and English fluently.
20. What Makes You the Best Option for This Position?
Why do you believe that you are the best candidate out of all the possible options? This is a chance to sell yourself and mention some of the skills, attributes, and experiences that set you ahead of the competition. Talk highly of yourself but do not come off as proud.
I grew up in Spain, making Spanish my first language. I can speak a record of four languages, including German, which makes me multilingual and a great addition to your team as I can also teach and step in for German teachers.
Do you want to be a Spanish teacher? These twenty questions should give you an excellent foundation to enable you to perform well in your interview. We wish you all the best.