The usual location for working as a Spanish instructor is at a university or college. In addition to being fluent in the language, an instructor must hold at least a Master’s degree with a major concentration in Spanish courses. You can hold a Bachelor’s degree in Spanish and a Master’s degree in another language. If you want to work in a community college as an instructor, you may be able to bypass the additional requirements if you have the proper credentials for working in such an educational institution.
In order to become a Spanish instructor, you must have past experience of at least two years teaching the language. Since there are two types of Spanish courses one can take, you can be an instructor for conversational Spanish or for academic Spanish. Conversational Spanish is a course that one would take in order to be able to communicate in the language for visiting Spanish countries, while academic Spanish is the type of course one would take in university as part of a degree program. You would not need to have the higher qualifications to teach conversational Spanish as you would the academic courses because the work is not as concentrated or involved.
One essential requirement for any Spanish instructor is to be able to write and speak the language as close to that of a native speaker as possible. In addition to being to be able to communicate well in this language, you should also have excellent English reading and writing skills. Knowledge of teaching methodologies and different ways of assessing the student’s learning is also a necessity for this position. At both the university and community college level, you should also have knowledge of curriculum design to develop courses that meet the needs of the student body and the community.
Studying abroad in a Spanish speaking country is one good way of being assured of a job as a Spanish instructor, provided, of course that you do well in your studies. Many universities in the US have partnerships with universities in Central and South America where students of Spanish can spend a term or an academic year living in that country with a family and attending classes in the local university. This type of study contributes to your course requirements for your degree as well as gives you in-depth knowledge of the Spanish culture, which is essential for understanding how the language works.
To apply for an advertised position for a Spanish instructor, you do have to submit transcripts of your university courses and evidence of your teaching experience. The cover letter for your application should describe how your training and experience benefit you as you work in this position. You will also need to submit letters of recommendation from persons qualified to attest to your suitability for the position.
One of the advantages of being an instructor of Spanish at a university is that this position is often a tenure track position. Usually instructor positions are contract only and do not come with any promise of tenure after a probationary period.