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dinosaurs in Brazil

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Joined: 28 Mar 2004
Posts: 5
Location: Stockholm

PostPosted: Mon Jun 21, 2004 1:39 pm    Post subject: dinosaurs in Brazil Reply with quote

Approaching 60 I have left a diplomatic career as a result of a delayed mid-life crisis. God-willing, I will soon be in the TEFL-trade albeit aware of the fact that I would make a somewhat unusual species there. I am not a native English speaker, but I have no doubt a full life of international experience including intercultural trouble-shooting. I am a Bachelor of Law; I speak Spanish fluently as well as some Portuguese and I have been Head of Training in the Foreign Service of my country among other postings. I have been in many teaching situations, but posess no diploma or certificate related to teaching English.

A few questions if I may:

a) Would I be considered a useless dinosaur by students in the conspiciously youth-oriented Brazilian culture? (I am fit, slim and look - and behave - younger. A side order for me, if I go to Brazil, would be to develop skills in bossa-guitar playing)

b) What about the TEFL market-value for a non-native speaker?

c) I the answer a) is no -or perhaps- where would be my best bet? I have read somewhere that private lessons are common in Brazil among students from well-to-do families; maybe my special background could be attractive and marketable in that context? Belo Horizonte could be a case in point from what I have read in this forum.

Thank you in advance, any comments would be most helpful

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Joined: 19 Mar 2004
Posts: 186
Location: Suzhou

PostPosted: Thu Jul 15, 2004 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

a; age really isnt a problem as far as students are concerned. my friends father became an english teacher, and many students appreciated his maturity, especially the business students. HOWEVER, you will in brazil that many of your lessons are outside of the school, and that you may have to work a split shift to earn a good wage (ie very early morning, then lunchtime, then evening after office hours).

So, you may find yourself working what feel like all day, and maybe doing upto 4 hours travelling on not very comfortable brazillian buses. I spend over two years there and i was 29 - 31 years old, and it was HARD. I definately give this some thought before leaving.

b; won't be a problem as long as you speak it well. however, students in brazil tend to be quite advanced, so many will want a native speaker. this is one more reason why i would recommend doing a good TEFL course before you leave.

Why wouldnt you want to do one? It will stand you in very good stead for the next stage of your career.

c; yeah, most of your lessons will be private one to one, either from a school or from your own contacts. all your experience will refelct in your personality, and that is ALL that matters in brazil. this will decide your sucess or failure.

Hope this helps.
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