Since its foundation in 1956, Lacunza - IH San Sebastián has enjoyed a high reputation in the city and the surrounding province of Gipuzkoa. More than 50,000 residents of San Sebastián and the neighbouring towns and villages have learned or improved their English in our classrooms. The school in San Sebastián is housed in SEVEN different buildings, four of which are within easy walking distance (3 to 5 minutes) of each other in the city centre. The remaining three - Gros, Amara and Benta Berri - are suburban centres easily reached by bus or on foot. Each building has its own Director of Studies and staff room fully equipped with the necessary teaching resources. We also have a branch in IRUN, 20 km from San Sebastián on the Spanish/French border.
For more than twenty years Academia Lacunza has been an influential affiliate of the International House World Organisation, running teacher training courses such as the RSA Diploma since 1979. In 1990 the school was awarded the IH Diploma of Excellence. Since 1982 Academy Lacunza has been among the most important of the recognised centres for Cambridge exams in Spain. In 1991 the school became one of ten founder members of the EAQUALS organisation (the European Association for Quality Language Services), and has been a full as well as founding member since 1994.
approach to teaching / learning
We believe that it is our responsibility to ensure that our students learn English as effectively and as quickly as possible, as far as their age and ability allow. Fundamental to this aim are:
- a syllabus with clear learning aims
- the maximum use of time in the classroom
- students accepting responsibility for their own learning
- close liaison with clients (learners and parents)
It is our aim to provide dynamic and stimulating classes which give emphasis to the development of fluency, good pronunciation and the accurate use of language. This work is supported and extended by regular homework which is challenging, well-explained and have a clear purpose. Homework will include work which the learner is capable of doing by herself, and thereby free time in the class for activities for which a teacher is essential.
Classes are preceded by careful planning and executed within the framework of sound classroom management. It is only in this way that we are able to use classroom time to the maximum effect and give learners a sense of achievement.
Good teaching with students making clear progress can only be achieved through a school having a consistent syllabus with clear and purposeful aims. To this end the Academy has adopted the system of levels which are detailed in the Council of Europe’s Common European Framework and the parallel system of levels from the University of Cambridge.
Learners must see that we care for them as individuals through our personal attention. As teachers we ensure that they make steady progress to the best of their ability and give constant encouragement. We monitor them continuously through their performance in the class, the quality and regularity of homework and their results in both tests and external exams. Their work needs to be consistently and regularly marked and detailed records of their progress kept. In this way we can keep both learners and parents well informed of their progress.
We expect learners to take responsibility for their learning by attending regularly, behaving in a way that leads to a friendly and co-operative atmosphere and by doing the homework tasks set in class.
We employ over 100 people, consisting of Teaching and Administrative Personnel, Directors, Directors of Studies, and Assistant Building Directors of Studies. We have high standards, and expect a professional and flexible attitude from our teachers, but there is ample support and opportunities for training provided to all members of the staff. The combination of all these elements makes for a very stimulating environment, recognized as such by other institutions. Teachers who have worked in Lacunza are clearly an asset for any other school.
Our clients range from 6-year-old children to top executives in local companies and banks, and there is an enormous variety of age groups, levels and frequencies, with a considerable amount of work off-premises (i.e. in companies and schools in the area). However, the vast majority of learners attend classes on our premises for 3 hours per week, and teachers can expect to have about 15 hours of their weekly timetables taken up by classes for learners under the age of 18. The group size is a maximum of 13 students (in special cases) although the average is 9 students.
our system of levels
All levels are taught from complete beginners to post-Proficiency. W group our students into one of 9 basic language levels and, for students between 6 and 18, any one of several age bands and a slightly broader range of levels. About 50% of these levels are Upper Intermediate and Advanced. A large number of our clients prepare for one of the different Cambridge exams - especially FCE and CAE. We believe that clients benefit from preparing for an external examination and encourage them to do so. This feeling is shared by the parents of the younger students who attach a great deal of importance to certificates and qualifications. The school is now recommending that students reach the level of CAE. Learners from the Academy take the KET, PET, FCE, CAE and Proficiency examinations, as well as the Cambridge Young Learner exams and Business Certificate exams.
Classes are offered Monday to Saturday, from 08.00 to 21.30 with the exception of Saturdays when classes are offered from 09.00 to 12.30. The offer of class frequency is quite extensive. Lessons may be of one hour (three times a week), one and a half hours (two times a week) or three hours (once a week).
The average working week is 27 hours, of which 25 would normally be contact hours and 2 hours used for educational and administrative purposes. Teachers may be asked to work a six-day consecutive week from Monday to Saturday mornings although this is not normally the case. Reduced time tables can sometimes be considered on request. Teachers normally work a split timetable at least two or three days a week.
We are looking for effective and highly motivated teachers who will show a genuine interest in the company’s clients both inside and outside the classroom. We expect them to be flexible and prepared to participate enthusiastically in all our company’s varied activities.
We will give ample support to enable teachers to perform at the required standard, as well as provide multiple opportunities for professional development in the form of the various courses, seminars and workshops which are held throughout the year.
Although not essential, a working knowledge of Spanish and computer skills are desirable. Some experience of teaching young learners (from 6 years old) is also an asset.
length of contracts
Initial length is for one academic year, i.e. October to the end of June. Some work is also available in the summer months. However, there are other possibilities and we welcome applications throughout the year in order to meet our growing demands.
San Sebastián is a large school with diverse courses and clients. Therefore it offers an excellent environment for teachers to develop and gain experience. Teacher support and development is a principal objective of the school and is carried out both informally in the staff-room on a day-to-day basis, and in the seminar programme organised by the Director of Education and his highly experienced support team of Teacher Trainers, DOS and Co-ordinators. Throughout the year there are various courses, seminars and workshops in which all teachers are expected to participate. On top of this we have a wide offer of other optional training activities if these can fit in with their timetable, such as preparation for the DELE exams in Spanish.
Considerable help is offered to staff on arrival in finding accommodation. Most members of the staff rent accommodation in the city centre or in one of the surrounding suburbs, for the convenience this offers. Flats are usually fairly large (3/4 bedrooms) and in good condition and adequately furnished with cutlery, crockery pots and pans provided. The majority of flats have a television, telephone, fridge and washing machine. Most teachers share, 2 or 3 teachers to one flat. First year teachers not recruited in the San Sebastián area are entitled to a settling-in allowance of €205 and loans of up to €600 are available to help pay deposits.
To avoid potential disappointment at a later stage, please take note of the minimum requirements for working in LACUNZA - International House of San Sebastián / Irun / Zarautz / Beasain / Rentería.