CAPS is a programme designed for young people who would like to spend a year in Spain helping in a school as a Conversation Assistant.
Accommodation is paid for and the Assistant will receive an allowance every month.
If you want to:
* Get a professional teaching experience for your CV.
* Get personal enrichment and the experience of living abroad.
* Be part of a school with the support of a host family and a professional organization.
* Learn a new language and culture
…… CAPS IS YOUR PROGRAMME!!
As Conversation Assistant (CA) you will be assigned to an infant, primary, secondary or technical school, mainly in Catalonia and Valencia regions. You will assist with classes of children between the ages of 3 to 16.
The CA will assist the teacher, and their specific responsibilities will be principally focused on reinforcing and improving the speaking ability of the students in English. The CA will help in the school 25 hours/week from Monday to Friday in accordance with the timetable provided and having the same holidays as the school.
Requirements for CAPS Candidates:
* Minimum 18 years old.
* English to a native level.
* We also have positions for people who have French to a native level.
* Completed secondary education to A-level or equivalent.
* Vocation for working with children.
* Ability to socialize and interact with people.
* Desire to live in a foreign country.
* Capacity to integrate with a host family, adapt to their requirements and be involved in family life.
Possible tasks you could be given under the supervision of the teacher:
* Conversation practice.
* Help in the language laboratory & audiovisual rooms.
* Help with oral exams.
* Explaining the culture of your own country.
* Stimulation of student’s speaking skills.
* Playing English games, reading, and songs.
* Help with linguistic questions.
* Help in other subjects apart from English such as science, art, sport.
* Preparing displays, complementary material, and conversation activities.
* Any other duty required by the school in order to improve the speaking ability of the student.
The full programme starts at the end of September / early October and ends in June. It is also possible to apply to complete half of the programme for example September to Christmas or January to June.
You will receive an allowance of 200€ a month in the form of a grant (accommodation, food and transport to and from the school are covered) which will be paid directly into your Spanish bank account. First month’s allowance will be held as a deposit which you will receive when you complete the programme on the official date.
Travel to and from Spain:
You will cover the cost of flights at the beginning and end of the programme and for any holidays during the programme.
The Spanish school will provide:
* Guidance:The school will designate a tutor from the school who will help the CA with their integration and any teething problems that they might have, especially in the first weeks.
* Accommodation: The CA will live with a host family during their time in Spain, family details will be sent prior to your arrival in Spain. The CA will have their own room and will be given breakfast and evening meals during the week and full board at weekends and on school holidays.
Host families are linked with the school (they have at least one child studying at the school, or are part of the school staff). They don’t receive any payment to host the conversation assistant in their houses. Families participate in the programme in order to have the experience of using your language and learning about your culture, this is why they are happy to collaborate with the programme and host you. Therefore, the enthusiastic and active participation of the CA in family life is very important.
The CA will:
* Attend the school and follow the timetable previously designed by the school.
* At all times behave in an appropriate, professional manner, particularly in the presence of children and at school.
* Comply with the rules and timetable of the school and with the rules and social habits of the host family, accept family’s requirements and be involved in family life.
* Organize the necessary paperwork before coming and open a bank account and get a NIE in Spain (with the help of the host family/tutor). This will serve as the account the monthly grant is paid.
* Speak English at all times in school and participate in the cultural exchange with the host family.
* Meet and contact on a regular basis with the programme organization to assess and discuss progression on the programme.
More benefits when the CA is on the programme:
* Travel insurance cover in Spain in case of accident or death to the CA or caused by the CA to a third party is provided.
* Help in learning Spanish and Catalan (For CA’s in the Catalonia region) through a distance learning course.
* Have the support from a serious and professional organization.
How to apply:
You can request more information and our application form to enroll by sending us an email firstname.lastname@example.org
Testimonials from previous conversation assistants:
Auxiliar de Conversación
Colegio Sagrada Familia – Horta
Hello my name leona Bernes, I am 23 years old, I am from Dublin. I am from a relatively big family of four children and my parents. I have spent my working life in sales and customer services but all I have ever wanted to do was teach like my father. A friend of mine told me to do a TEFL (Teaching English As A Foreign Language) course like she was doing so she could teach abroad, and I was fascinated as all I wanted to do was teach and travel and I thought do both sounded like a dream. So I did the course and started applying for jobs and to my disappointment it was very difficult to find one as I didn’t have experience or a degree in teaching that was needed, Than one day I came across the CAPS ad that wanted people to help improve people’s English in Spain, no experience or even a TEFL certificate required. I applied immediately and had a quick response, interview scheduled for the next day. I had no time to be nervous so I went to the interview and heard what the programme entailed and was offered the position, they said you leave in a week.
I was excited and nervous but knew that I would always regret it if I didn’t try, so I told my parents ( who were shocked to say the least as I am the baby of the family and no one else in my family have ever been away for more than for a two week holiday)
So I said goodbye to all my friends and family and went to start my new life. The only word I could describe how I felt coming out of the airport terminal was blind fear. I was greeted by CAPS Home to Home and my new family with a large welcome Leona poster!!! My tutor was also there to explain all about the school and welcome me to Spain.
It was very scary at first as the language barrier seemed so great that I was worried I would feel like an outsider, but that quickly left me as I could feel the love and genuine happiness of the family who wanted to have me in their lives I didn’t feel like I was leaving my family behind but gaining a new one
In all of my life, I don’t think I have been stared at as much as I was during my first day of school. It was very strange to walk into a place where everyone knew who you were and you knew no one, I had become and still am today the celebrity of the school. everyone wanted to speak to me and introduce themselves even if they didn’t speak English, it didn’t matter they just wanted to make sure I felt welcome and show me how excited they were to see me
As I waited outside the first class, the teacher said that Leona was here and you can ask her questions. I heard the eruption of excitement from the students that quickly died away when I entered the room. They were so nervous to meet me that they couldn’t speak, but when it was time for me to leave they begged me to stay.The following weeks continued to be the same, the students I met were a mix of excited and nervous to speak with me at first, they just stared at me and slowly they came up to just say hi and run off it took so long to walk through the school as every student stopped to talk with me
The children in my host family were now the most popular students in the school, all of their friends were asking about me and asking if it’s ok if I can be introduced to them.
My school name is "College Sagrada Familia-Horta" it has a about 2000 students and 100 teachers and everyone knows who I am, I am involved in 23 different classes that I have once a week. The ages range from ten years old up to seventeen. It was very difficult communicating with the older students at first, because they were very nervous but as I spent more time with them doing different kinds of things they relaxed and have become my favorite group. Their level is good and they love that my activities are not the same old boring ones. All of the students say they now love English as they can have fun with me without realizing they are learning English. I spilt my activities from doing grammar work to something more fun like teaching them about Saint Patrick and Irish dancing.
The benefits of this program are great, as I have found that now the students in my school are now excited about English, and it’s not looked on as something which is compulsory and also very difficult to learn. The teachers in the school are great, I love spending time in the teachers room, we go for lunch and they seem so happy to have me here. Most of the teachers try and speak English even if they only know a little, they want to practice and I have been told that they have never heard so much English being spoken in school. They always want me to go for lunch with them, tell them about my day or hear about theirs, they thank me for just having a conversation as they are learning more and more about the language and perfecting it.
I have found the biggest difference in the improvement of my host families English. From the 1st day I was nervous as the mother and father seemed to have a very low level, and I was worried about how we would communicate. In only a week I noticed difference in how they were speaking and it continues to improve. Cynthia whose level was very good to start with I feel that having me there as a native speaker has made her so much more confident with her English. She was so shy with it at 1st but now she can speak freely without feeling embarrassed.
This program really helps everyone, from the family learning English to the students and even the fluent teachers perfecting their skills. I have been able to learn and experience a different culture, learn a new language whilst doing a dream job in a dream location. I have fallen in love with Spain and everyone here and thank the organization for giving me this opportunity
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Auxiliar de Conversación
Colegia Sagrat Familia - Amposta
My name is Dearbhla Farrell but I go by Dee here in Spain, as most people find my name rather difficult. I am from Dublin Ireland where I lived with my family. I am 23 years old and have 3 brothers back in Ireland. Previous to the programme I studied and received a degree and postgrad in Economics and Finance majoring in economics. Someday I hope to become a math’s and economics teacher. Several months ago I completed a TEFL course and began working as an English teacher in the Czech Republic. I was living north of Prague in a small town for almost 4 months teaching English. I left there recently and moved here to Spain through the CAPS (Conversation Assistant for Spanish Schools) program. My school is in Amposta, but I live in a smaller town approximately 15 minutes away situated right on the coast.
The family I live with consists of mother and father – Blanca and Josep and one daughter (15) Blanca. I was initially a little apprehensive about living with and becoming part of a family not related to me but these fears immediately disappeared upon meeting them. They were extremely welcoming and helpful. I really could not have asked for a better family. The house I live in is perfect in terms of arrangement and location. I have my own room which looks out onto the garden and pool. Both parents work, the father is a doctor and the mother works for the local town council. Blanca, the daughter, is in 3rd of Eso in my school.
The school I am placed in is called Colegia Sagrat Familia. My timetable is such that I am with each class once a week. The school is like any other normal school. It has a wide range of classrooms and outdoor space for physical education and recreational purposes. The school has a large collection of teachers all of which have been extremely welcoming and helpful to me.
The aspect I enjoy the most about being in the school is how I am treated by the kids. When I get on the school bus in the morning they are all smiles and ask questions about me and my life in Ireland. They find little things I do fascinating. In the hallways they stare at me and try to speak to me. At lunch they race to sit beside me at the table. Outside in the school yard (where I sit and appreciate the Spanish weather) they surround me asking questions. It’s what I imagine being famous/special feels like and its nice. They treat me really well considering I have the same level of respect an authority as any regular teacher.
I am gaining more experience learning what it takes to teach English in a different environment to my previous experience. The best way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in it and live with it. That is exactly what I am doing. I have always had a desire to travel to Spain and see different parts of the country and being here has given me that opportunity. My host family travel a lot, and I get to go with them which I thoroughly enjoy and appreciate. Any nerves I had about this experience before coming here are completely unfounded and have been washed away.