Please sign in to post.

Teaching English

Ok, I know this is a long shot, but about a year ago I heard a feature on NPR about a "resort" in Spain that hires people from around the world to teach English to Spanish citizens who sign up for the course. Resort might be too strong a word, but basically they gave you a free room, free meals, and all you had to do was teach. I've already tried my luck with Google, but was wondering if anybody knew of this specific "resort."
Thank you.

Posted by
339 posts

you may be referring to Vaughn Town. Try that in your search engine...

Posted by
9363 posts

I'm a Vaughantown "Anglo". I did a week in Gredos this year, and a week in Segovia last year. And "resort" is not too strong a word. One of the locations is a Sheraton Hotel outside of Madrid. My location this year was outside of a small mountain town west of Madrid. Last year it was a few minutes from the town of Segovia. They are extremely nice hotels, some with things like Jacuzzis and pools and wifi, with three meals a day (wine with lunch and dinner) included. There is no teaching involved, you just converse (and you're not "hired" because you are not paid - strictly volunteer). You have a series of one-to-one conversations with the various Spaniards, there are group activities, games, skits, telephone conversations, and presentations. You eat all meals together and hang out together in the evening. By the end of the week you are all friends. I am Facebook friends with several of the Anglos and Spaniards I have met both years. HJ, who posts here, has done something like 16 Vaughantown weeks. All you pay for is your transportation to and from Madrid, a night or two in a hotel before and/or after, and your meals when not at the program. Both years I have added my VT week to another 10 days or so of traveling. Please feel free to message me if you would like more specifics. I love Vaughantown!

Posted by
1178 posts

Adding to the response of Nancy above, I am scheduled for two weeks in April of this year....It is one of the best programs I have ever experienced. The first program, the MC made a statement to the effect that "You, the Anglos (English speakers) will learn more about Spain and its people in the week here for this course than if you traveled the country of Spain for one year!" ---and he was correct!!! Will be glad to offer more information as will Nancy if you private message (can we still do that on this 'new' site?) me.

Posted by
2 posts

I believe the NPR story was referring to a Vaughan Town program. Vaughan Town matches native English speakers to native Spaniards from the business world for the purpose of improving their English for business purposes. It was started by an American, Richard Vaughan. Your room and board (three square meals a day) are paid for in first class (or four star, or is it five star) hotels; the program runs from a Sunday morning to Friday afternoon. I am going at the end of this month and made my reservations for the few days I will be on my own through Airbnb, which operates worldwide. I will be going to two different locations. Everyone who has experienced Vaughan Town speaks well of their experience. They are always looking for volunteers.

Posted by
9363 posts

The Vaughan Town hotels are four-star, but have different features at each location. But the Spaniards who attend are not just there for business purposes. Some are just there because they want to challenge themselves to improve their English (they are all at least intermediate level and must pass a proficiency test to attend). On my last week, one Spaniard, a surgeon, told me he doesn't need English for his job. It is just a personal interest for him.

Posted by
3548 posts

I've attended Vaughan Systems "villages" twice. No English is taught; instead, the strategy is to immerse their clients in English conversation. The company likes Anglos who can't speak Spanish so must communicate in English. That means English in one-on-one meetings of an hour each; English in group activities; English at meals to the extent that the number of Spanish speakers at each dinner table is restricted. After a long day of speaking English, the Anglos often gather on the hotel bar and talk some more. The students are less likely to take a nightcap as they have mandatory presentations to prepare and some keep in touch with their employers. The Anglos are just as varied as the clients, coming from Australia and New Zealand, UK, Ireland and other parts of the Commonwealth and of course the US. One "Anglo" I met was actually German and brushing up on her fluent English for a new job. The variety of English accents is part of the education. The most efficient locations are hotels away from cities, reducing the temptation for the Spaniards to speak to anyone except us. That's not an advantage for the tourists. However, the accommodations are fine, the food and wine good, and the lack of laundry facilities outside the hotel something to keep in mind. Since the conversations are long and questions about where-do-you-work can only go so far, it is wise to prepare some topics, perhaps with visual props. I take a big map of Canada which can hold European attention for long conversations.
Did I mention it is free?