Sponge Chats – Teaching English in Spain with Alan McDyre, President of ACEIA

This blog post is part of the Sponge Chats video series.

There are few within Spain who have more knowledge about the current language teaching context than Alan McDyre, President of ACEIA, Spain’s largest language teaching association. I have had the pleasure to meet Alan a number times at various ACEIA and FECEI conferences, and now I have had the pleasure to sit down with him for a somewhat different, but very important Sponge Chat.

One thing that is important, no matter where we teach in the world, is that we understand our rights and obligations as teachers and employers. Here in Spain, these are dictated, to some extent, by two major legal constructs: the Spanish employment and labour laws and the convenio for our sector (VIII Convenio colectivo de enseñanza y formación no reglada), which is basically a document saying what we can and cannot do. This convenio is rather tricky to understand for a number of reasons, which we look at in the chat. Alan and I discuss the current teaching situation, what the employment laws and the convenio mean to us as teachers and employers, why it is important to understand your rights and obligations, and some advice for teachers who wish to teach in Spain.

A special note: Alan has told me that it is actually illegal to advertise salaries in net in Spain as each employee’s tax situation could be different. Something to consider!

In the Sponge Chat, Alan makes reference to a number of things. I have included links here:

The convenio

FECEI video talking about how to read your nomina (Payslip)


I hope you enjoy this Sponge Chat, especially if you are working in Spain. If you are from outside of Spain and are a professional with a high level of knowledge of the employment laws in your country (specifically for the language teaching sector) and would like to speak about it, then please get in touch! For those of you that have questions, you can get in touch with either myself or with ACEIA/FECEI directly.

Remember that you can watch the video on YouTube or listen on Spotify. Don’t forget to subscribe and let us know what you think!


  1. joannaesl says:

    Thank you for covering such an important topic. Employers in Spain frequently take advantages of non-Spanish speakers, give wrong contracts (or no contracts at all) and often pay in cash. I only started understanding my rights this year after almost 3 years of teaching in Spain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your comments, Joanna. I completely agree and have to say that until a short time ago I was in a similar boat. I do hope more teachers become aware of their rights and obligations, and we can start to really professionalise ELT within Spain. We are talking about the private sector, of course, but still…it shouldn’t be the wild west and teachers should be compensated for their work, qualifications and dedication to the industry.


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