Teach English in Brazil, where life is a carnival everyday of the week!
Brazil is a great country to teach English abroad. Beautiful beaches, metropolitan cities, and great places to explore, like… how about a weekend in the Amazon rainforest?! English students in this country have been named among the world’s most enthusiastic, probably due to the fact that learning the language will have such immense benefits on their lives. While a lot students in many countries show up because their parents or employers coerced them, Brazilians, generally speaking, are there to work hard and give it their all. S0 there are plenty of TESOL jobs in Brazil.
Unless you’re a seasoned teacher (or just super sociable), you’ll probably find taking private lessons to be a bit intimidating. To get experience under your belt, it’s advisable to get your footing at an institute or school first. You’ll be given materials (usually) and won’t have to hassle people into paying you. Once you arrive, you should be able to find a job at a language institute- Brazil is another country where arriving and putting a name with the face is the way to nail an interview. Learning a bit of Portuguese is another huge bonus. While you might get lucky and find a posting online before arriving- search for ‘ingles’ on empregos.com.br-.
Teaching ESL in schools has a downside that occurs in the majority of schools throughout the world (give or take a few countries, like Saudi Arabia and South Korea): you’ll probably make less money than you would if you taught a lesser amount of hours in private lessons. Schools that lack reputations are hit or miss, and it isn’t uncommon to not be paid on time. The quality of the school and its place in the local ESL society hierarchy make a huge difference in Brazil, although that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t find a diamond in the rough. Ask around about the school and try to get in touch with current and local teachers to discuss their experiences.
Requirements for Teaching English in Brazil
Brazil has fairly lax standards compared to its South American counterparts. Because of the high demand and low supply of teachers, many schools will hire you based solely on the fact that you speak English. It’s a common belief that native speakers are better than Brazilian teachers, especially when it comes to teaching pronunciation and accent, and that learning from native speakers will allow them to progress faster. There is definitely some truth in this, so use it to your advantage when trying to sell yourself to an employer, especially in less competitive cities and towns across the vast country. Other employers will not even require that you be a native speaker, provided that your level of English makes the cut. I personally think that this shows the great quality of open-mindedness in the Brazilian psyche, as I know tons of non-native speakers who speak better and are more qualified to teach English than native speakers. Of course, a TEFL certificate will always make an ESL teacher’s quest easier. There are tons of places where you can earn one if you’re already in Brazil, and oftentimes they’ll even assist you with the job search.
Just like across the rest of the continent, you’ll definitely see teachers working on a tourist visa; just like across the rest of the continent, this is not legal. However, it’s doable (at your own risk). There is a student visa that foreigners can get in order to learn Portuguese, but this also does not give you legal permission to work. Getting a work visa as an English teacher is not an easy fete, and the folks who are most likely to get them are the qualified teachers accepting a multi-year contract at a university or international school. Brazil is not immune to corruption, and employers actively avoid getting involved in lengthy bureaucratic procedures as much as possible. Thus, you’ve got to make the decision on how to proceed here based on your own comfort zone- or willingness to step outside it.