Catalan and Spanish Language Assistant

Durham, United Kingdom
£23067 - £25941 per annum
15 Jun 2021
End of advertisement period
12 Jul 2021
Contract Type
Fixed Term
Full Time

School of Modern Languages and Cultures

Grade 5: - £23,067 - £25,941 per annum
Fixed Term - Full Time
Contract Duration: 12 months
Contracted Hours per Week: 35
Closing Date: 12-Jul-2021, 6:59:00 AM 

Job Description

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures seeks to appoint a Language Assistant in Catalan and Spanish. The post will be full time. It is a fixed-term post for 12 months. The post-holder will ideally be in post on 01 September 2021.

The post-holder will be responsible for the delivery of Catalan and Spanish language teaching to undergraduate students at all levels, as well as conducting assessment and assisting with the development of assessments and course materials.

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures

The School is one of the largest and most successful Schools of Modern Languages in the UK bringing together research in Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hispanic, Italian, Japanese and Russian Studies. It is consistently ranked in the top five in national league tables, such as the Complete University Guide. The School’s reach spans Europe, the Arab world, Russophone Eurasia, Hispanic America, and East Asia, and their mutual socio-cultural, intellectual and linguistic relations. The School federates expertise to generate innovative research practices and activities that cross historical, geographical and methodological boundaries. Its research focuses on the transnational study of literatures, cultures and histories. Translation – understood in its broad sense of transmission, interpretation and sharing of languages, ideas and histories – underpins the School’s collective practices. The School has particular strengths in medieval and early modern Studies, visual arts and culture and the relationship between the sciences and the humanities, with further strong research interests in 19th to 21st century literature and culture, textual scholarship, gender and sexuality studies, critical and cultural theory, travel literature, creative writing, and translation. The School’s forward-thinking research agenda was recently highlighted in its major conference Our Uncommon Ground, held in Durham in 2018. This conference brought together speakers from across the world to articulate and embrace the values of a discipline equipped to study cultures and their interactions in historical perspective.

Hispanic Studies

Hispanic Studies in Durham is one of the largest sections in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures and one of the top departments in the UK: it appears in the top five in major national league tables, contributing to Durham University’s top-20 placing for Arts and Humanities in the THE World Reputation Rankings 2020. 

There are currently seven members of specialist teaching staff in the Hispanic Studies, with scholarship interests including sociolinguistics and language contact, heritage & second language acquisition, Bourdieusian and postcolonial approaches to translation, and support and assessment of the year abroad. Hispanic Studies also boasts eleven members of academic staff actively engaged in research and publication in the School, part of an overall complement of over fifty research active staff. Individual research expertise ranges from medieval and early modern studies to the contemporary and includes literature, cinema, visual arts and culture, theatre studies, political and critical theory, translation, post-colonialism, gender and environmental studies. Durham has considerable strengths in both Spanish and Latin American Studies.

In collaboration with The Auckland Project, Durham University has launched the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art (https://www.dur.ac.uk/zurbaran). Formally established in October 2016, the Centre owes its inception to Durham University’s established strengths in Spanish and Latin American Studies and its strategic investment in visual art and culture, as well as to County Durham’s remarkable collections in Spanish art dating from the fifteenth to the twentieth centuries, and The Auckland Project’s major arts and heritage-led regeneration project in Bishop Auckland. The Centre will build upon existing strengths to foster excellent research in Spanish and Latin American art, from the European Middle Ages and Pre-Colonial Americas to contemporary film and photography.

More detailed information is available from https://www.dur.ac.uk/mlac/ and related pages.

Student Profile and Teaching

The School of Modern Languages and Cultures runs a modular degree programme, delivered over a university year that is organised on the basis of three terms. The School seeks to foster a culture of outstanding teaching and personal development in both the graduate and undergraduate communities, prescribing in accordance with University strategy that all undergraduate teaching be research-based, research-orientated, or research-led, and striving to reinforce and enhance the characteristically strong Durham bond between staff and students.

There is a thriving community of excellent students in Hispanic Studies, most of whom are registered on the BA in Modern Languages and Cultures. Hispanic Studies students at Durham are required to take the relevant core language module in any given year, and may choose from a range of optional modules in Catalan, as well as literature, art, cinema, history, politics, and other disciplines. Further information is available from https://www.durham.ac.uk/departments/academic/modern-languages-cultures/undergraduate-study/courses/hispanic-modules/ .
All students are required to spend their third year abroad. They progress afterwards to a final-year Dissertation, which offers an opportunity for students to engage at an advanced intellectual level with topics relating to history or to literary, visual, and cultural production.


1. Teaching

  • To teach languages classes in Catalan and Spanish
  • To teach language classes to undergraduates studying Catalan and Spanish at all levels
  • To teach English classes on Catalan culture to undergraduates
  • To carry out all related preparation, formative marking, follow-up work and record-keeping
  • To monitor students’ progress

2. Summative assessment and examining

  • To undertake summative marking related to teaching as required
  • To take on related examination marking as required
  • To assist in setting and vetting of oral examination topics and questions as required
  • To assist in preparation of year abroad

3. Curriculum development

  • To assist in the development and maintenance of language modules including preparation and updating of course materials
  • To develop and support students’ independent learning facilities

4. Administration

  • To liaise with module coordinators and other teachers as appropriate
  • To undertake occasional administrative work as required by the Director of Hispanic Studies
  • To promote Catalan language and culture in the School, the University and the wider community

5. Outreach

  • To assist in outreach or school liaison events during term time

6.  Any other duties as occasionally required by the Director of Hispanic Studies in consultation with the Head of School

The duties and responsibilities outlined above are not intended to be an exhaustive list, but provide guidance on the main duties of the post.

Relationships and Contacts

Responsible to the Head of School of Modern Languages and Cultures.  Directly supervised by the Director of Hispanic Studies.  Interacts with support staff in the School of Modern Languages and Cultures, and other teaching staff in the School.

How to Apply

For informal enquiries, please contact Professor Jonathan Long, Head of School (j.j.long@durham.ac.uk) or Dr Yarí Pérez Marín, Director of Hispanic Studies (yari.perez-marin@durham.ac.uk).  All enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence. 

We prefer to receive applications online via the Durham University Vacancies Site. https://www.dur.ac.uk/jobs/

Applications are particularly welcome from women and black and minority ethnic candidates, who are under-represented in academic posts in the University.

What to Submit

All applicants are asked to submit:

  • a CV and covering letter which details your experience, skills and achievements in meeting (or the potential to meet) the criteria set out above.


You should provide details of two referees and the details of your current line manager so that we may seek an employment reference (if they are not listed as an academic referee).  Please note:

  • We shall seek references during the application process.
  • We would ask that you alert your referees to this application as soon as possible so that we can quickly obtain references.  If you do not wish (some or all) of your referees to be approached during the recruitment process; you must clearly indicate this to us at the time of your application.
  • References sought for candidates may be made available to the panel during the shortlisting process.
  • We will seek a reference from your current line-manager if we make you an offer of employment (albeit you may have also nominated your line manager as an academic referee).  Please clearly indicate on the application form which referee is your current line-manager and indicate if we should only approach them once an offer has been made.

We will notify you on the status of your application at various points throughout the selection process, via automated emails from our e-recruitment system.  Please check your spam/junk folder periodically to ensure you receive all emails.

When appointing to this role the University must ensure that it meets any applicable immigration requirements, including salary thresholds which are applicable to some visas.

Person Specification

It is essential that in your written application you give evidence that you meet the selection criteria.  



  • A strong undergraduate degree

Special Knowledge

  • Understanding of cultural, political and social aspects of contemporary Span, with specialised knowledge of Catalonia
  • Knowledge of communicative and student-centred language teaching methods

Skills & Competencies

  • Native or near-native proficiency in spoken and written English
  • Native or near-native proficiency in spoken and written Catalan and Spanish
  • Ability to communicate clearly, precisely and effectively in written and oral forms
  • Ability to work as a member of a team that delivers a range of language courses
  • Willingness to engage with and contribute to activity in a professional and collegial manner



  • A postgraduate qualification in teaching Catalan and/or Spanish as a foreign language


  • Experience of teaching Catalan and/or Spanish as a foreign language
  • Experience of teaching Catalan culture

Special Knowledge

  • Knowledge of recent developments in Language Learning and Teaching
  • Knowledge of UK secondary and tertiary education systems
  • Knowledge of Blackboard or equivalent virtual learning environments

DBS Requirement: Not Applicable.