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Confidence boost for classroom assistants

Fancy living for up to nine months with a Spanish family and helping out in a local school – with all expenses paid? Over 100 young people from the UK have already signed up to the scheme in Spain, now in its second year, in the hope of reaping rewards from total immersion in a new environment.
English-language conversation assistants are much in demand in schools across Catalonia. Home to Home, a Spanish company that organises language-study trips abroad, helps these schools meet their quotas every academic year. Under CAPS, the Conversation Assistant Programme for Schools, it recruits people aged 18 to 28 to work alongside teachers, especially in primary schools in Barcelona. Tasks include working in a supporting role in small conversation classes, language laboratories, drama workshops and so on. The goal is to inspire children to learn English – and above all to make their classes enjoyable and exciting.
Most of these assistants are found through private advertising, but in 2011 several were also recruited via European Jobs Days in the UK. Key requirements are a minimum of an A-level education or equivalent diploma, English as a mother tongue and an aptitude for working with children.
“We have already found several assistants for Spanish schools as a result, so this support is clearly paying dividends for jobseekers keen to work abroad,” says Rosemary Riley, a UK-based recruiter for Home to Home.
The CAPS recruits are offered free board and lodging with local volunteer families, as well as free travel to and from schools. They receive a CAPS monthly grant and are encouraged to offer private tuition, which can bring in EUR 15 an hour. Further benefits include valuable teaching experience, an opportunity to learn a second language (Spanish or Catalan), and – if the year is successfully completed – a certificate, plus numerous references from both the school and parents. Assistants also have a great chance to broaden their horizons by embracing the local lifestyle and culture.
Read more:
CAPS programme 2011 induction day
Conversation assistants’ blog
Look for a Job Day in the EURES Events Calendar
Find out more about the working and living conditions in different European countries on the EURES Job Mobility Portal
Search for a job in the EURES Job Database

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