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'More people need to communicate in English'

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'More people need to communicate in English'
John Pare, the head of the British Council's Young Learners Centre in Madrid. Photo: The Local
08:56 CEST+02:00
This week for My Spanish Career, The Local chats to Englishman John Pare, who is head of the British Council's Young Learners Centre in Madrid.

What brought you to Spain?

I've worked for the British Council in the English teaching centres around the world for many years. Before coming to Madrid, I was the manager of the British Council Teaching Centre in Budapest, Hungary.

I was delighted to come to Madrid. The Madrid Young Learners centre is one of the biggest in the British Council  with around 5000 students so coming here as manager was exciting.

7 reasons for Spain's newfound love of English 

You work in English teaching - is it a boom industry in Spain?

I've been fortunate to work here in English language teaching at a time when more and more people are coming to terms with the need to be able to communicate in a second international language as well as Spanish.

Can you tell us a bit about what your job entails?

I do all sorts of things in my job, from watching a group of two year-olds sing a song in one of our "Storytime" classes to writing detailed financial reports. Some days are more fun than others!

What are the good and bad points about living and working in Madrid?

Madrid is a great place to live - there is always a lot going on. The cultural scene is world class as is the football, there are tremendous restaurants and, if you're feeling like recharging your batteries after all those nights out, the mountains are pretty close too.

Like all big cities, it can be a bit of a drag getting from place to place, but I must say that the Tube and bus services, which I use to get to work every day, are great, and there's always a decent café nearby.

How does working in Spain compare to working in other countries?

All the places I've worked have had their good points. In Brazil, I lived 5 minutes from Ipanema beach, for example.

Spain is a vibrant,  lively country. The thing I treasure most in my work here is that I am surrounded by a great bunch of people who work hard but don't forget to have a good time doing it.

Anyone who wants to know more about how we teach children and teenagers at Madrid Young Learners can take a look at our website http://www.britishcouncil.es/ingles/cursos-ninos/general/madrid

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