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Sislenguas programme at EAFIT - any experiences?

 
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maxmaxmilan



Joined: 13 May 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:53 pm    Post subject: Sislenguas programme at EAFIT - any experiences? Reply with quote

Hi there,

I'm coming to Colombia at the end of October to hunt for jobs for my fiancee and I for January. I'm then going on to Southern Cross in Ecuador to do a CELTA from 14 Nov to 16 Dec. Both my fiancee and I have about 2 years teaching experience each.

I've got a few meetings lined up for when I get to Colombia, and one is with the Director of the Sislenguas language programme at Universidad EAFIT in Medellin. Does anyone have any experience of teaching through this programme?

From what I've heard (from windowlicker I think - thanks) you get paid about the same as the higher end language institutes (2 million pesos a month or thereabouts) but it's a reasonably good programme and they'll sponsor you for a work visa. Can anyone confirm or correct this info?

Lastly, they are asking for an IELTS or equivalent before they'll consider our applications, even though we're both native English speakers. This is a bit of a pain as its quite a price to pay before we know whether our applications meet their requirements. Again, has anyone else got a job there and if so did you need to complete an English proficiency test?

Many thanks,
Max
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 584
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can definitely confirm that information about sislenguas. It's probably the only half-way decent job you'll find in Medellin.

You're a native speaker and they want you to do the IELTS? I wouldn't work for them just for the stupidity that that shows...
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maxmaxmilan



Joined: 13 May 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the info.
I was trying to be charitable but yeah it does sound a bit ludicrous. I'm hoping if I go and meet them they'll relax that requirement a bit. But that may be wishful thinking...
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 584
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2011 9:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I talked with them years ago about doing SISLENGUAS. They wanted me to do an English exam called the Michigan. I didn't know anything about teaching at the time so it didn't seem that strange to me.

I knew a British guy with a CELTA and experience who worked for them and he said he was very happy with the experience. EAFIT's got a beautiful campus with a pool and its a rich, private university, so it'd be a nice employer to work for (though you'd be teaching in local high schools with this program).

Honestly if I were you, I'd just tell them there's no way whatsoever you'll be taking an English test.
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maxmaxmilan



Joined: 13 May 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK thanks - I'm thinking that's what I'll do, but better to do that face-to-face rather than by email I guess!

Thanks for your help - anyone else with experience there?
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Jampen26



Joined: 09 Sep 2011
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a similar experience in Brazil where two schools asked me to produced an FCE or CAE certificate and then insisted that I complete a 1 month training course to learn how to teach - I have 3 yeas post CELTA experience and my partner 7, including Cambridge co-ordinator experience.

I chose not to be offended. Make of it what you will but I think its indicative of a system that has not yet been adapted to an international work force. Just hope you get to speak to the right person!!
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maxmaxmilan



Joined: 13 May 2011
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 12:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Jampen thanks v much for the reply. When I spoke to them they explained the requirement well.

Oh and by the way, for anyone else looking for information on the SISLENGUAS programme, here's what I found out:

-EAFIT actually runs three related programmes: SISLENGUAS in 4 private schools, and potentially 15 government schools (pending decisions in the new administration); a standard language institute for ages from 5 upwards, split into different age groups; and a business english programme.

- Pay is about $22000 per hour taught in each programme. Not bad by language institute standards, but not as much as other unis in Colombia. N.B. The uni is in El Poblado in Medellin, a well-off suburb and so maybe relatively expensive to rent a place there?

- You have to show an IELTS certificate or similar, and undertake a 'psychological test' (I think they meant a psychometric test?), as well as filling out the standard application form.

- They will help with a work visa, but say it takes quite a bit of time - as of the start of Nov they said they couldn't offer jobs in Jan, and instead were offering June.

- The campus is lovely, the manager of the SISLENGUAS programme seemed an impressive and trustworthy guy, and Medellin is an awesome, awesome city. Don't take any notice of its previous reputation (aside from the usual common sense caution in Colombia and in any big city).

We decided not to apply because they couldn't offer jobs til June, but I hope this info is useful to others who are considering them.
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 584
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Fri Nov 11, 2011 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the up to date information, max. Great to have some more details out there.

SISLENGUAS has always seemed like a decent first or second job in Colombia, but the hourly rate is very poor - they're not aiming for qualified, experienced teachers with that rate. I've said elsewhere that I have a very low opinion of EAFIT's language department/institute. You have to weigh the pros, though in that you'd have a university as your employer (which I think is better than an institute) and have access to a nice campus with a pool. You'd also presumably be teaching classes all day in a high school as opposed to doing an hour here and there all across the city and spending all your time on public transit.

El Poblado is the most expensive neighborhood in Medellin.
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dudeteacher



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 147

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 2:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spanglish wrote:
Thanks for the up to date information, max. Great to have some more details out there.

SISLENGUAS has always seemed like a decent first or second job in Colombia, but the hourly rate is very poor - they're not aiming for qualified, experienced teachers with that rate. I've said elsewhere that I have a very low opinion of EAFIT's language department/institute. You have to weigh the pros, though in that you'd have a university as your employer (which I think is better than an institute) and have access to a nice campus with a pool. You'd also presumably be teaching classes all day in a high school as opposed to doing an hour here and there all across the city and spending all your time on public transit.

El Poblado is the most expensive neighborhood in Medellin.


I am presently speaking with EAFIT. I am a little confused. I was under the impression that I would be teaching at the University. Why then the comment about "all day in a high school."

I am wondering if as a very experienced Celta qualified teacher if I could get regular hours at a private course school in the city.

Dude
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spanglish



Joined: 21 May 2009
Posts: 584
Location: working on that

PostPosted: Sat Aug 18, 2012 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SISLENGUAS is a public/private partnership in which EAFIT University is contracted to provide English teachers to public schools. I don't know if the program still exists and have no personal experience with it. I have talked to a number of people though who worked in and administered the program.

EAFIT also hires people to teach their own students and other clients on the campus of EAFIT. Though EAFIT is an expensive and prestigious private university with a beautiful campus, neither program pays well or is considered a top level job.
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travelNick



Joined: 22 Feb 2009
Posts: 54
Location: Bogota, Colombia

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 4:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

IELTS is a useful tool for determining "true native English speakers". That is, so-called educated English speakers who have passed through all levels of schooling and completed high-school in an English speaking environment. There are many native speakers of English from the US of Colombian background who look for jobs as English teachers in Colombia, many of which would only be classified as heritage English speakers i.e. went to high school in the US but speak English terribly. At that level of pay EAFIT will need to screen out the less accurate native speakers I imagine.
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dudeteacher



Joined: 27 Feb 2010
Posts: 147

PostPosted: Mon Aug 20, 2012 10:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

travelNick wrote:
IELTS is a useful tool for determining "true native English speakers". That is, so-called educated English speakers who have passed through all levels of schooling and completed high-school in an English speaking environment. There are many native speakers of English from the US of Colombian background who look for jobs as English teachers in Colombia, many of which would only be classified as heritage English speakers i.e. went to high school in the US but speak English terribly. At that level of pay EAFIT will need to screen out the less accurate native speakers I imagine.


I was curious about this. I simply told them that I was a native Eng. speaker and only had my Uni. Diplomas as backup on this.
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