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is ESL teaching certificate really needed? (TIGER BEER)

 
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Rick23



Joined: 13 Jun 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 1:22 pm    Post subject: is ESL teaching certificate really needed? (TIGER BEER) Reply with quote

TIGER BEER --> This is mainly directed towards you, you've experienced quite a bit in Brazil.

I've heard from alot of people that its just best to SHOW UP in Brazil, grab the local paper, and go from there in terms of finding work. Couple things I'm very curious about.

1. How important is an ESL teaching certificate in Brazil. My parents are both Portuguese, so I can speak it and understand it decently. Do employers really care for these certifications, or is it more so how you present yourself, etc.? I know Brazil isn't a money maker, and money wont be a big issue for me, but on the same token, I dont want to be months without being able to find a job.

2. What are the best times to arrive to find work? I know theres certain times to avoid such as Carnival, etc. I've heard arriving in April is a good time?

Also, how dangerous were the bigger cities to you? I'm looking to going to Rio potentially, as I want to big time experience when I'm there.
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Metapsyborg



Joined: 05 Nov 2007
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2007 5:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm interested in this too because I will be going to Brazil this winter and I'd like to try and teach ESL.

Some of the stuff I've read says you can just go there and get a job without credentials but I think it's 5-10 years old. I'm considering taking a CELTA class in Sao Paulo but it's kind of expensive so I'm hesitant to do that before I know if I really want to/have the ability to teach English.
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 762
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Tue Dec 04, 2007 5:10 pm    Post subject: Re: is ESL teaching certificate really needed? (TIGER BEER) Reply with quote

Sorry, I just read this now.

YES, that is true. Just show up and grab the local newspaper. I never see jobs posted online (well, a few of the same ones). But when you are in Brazil, you will see many in the newspapers. An entire market does exist there. Take in mind I predominately lived in Sao Paulo with a couple months in Rio de Jainero (so I can't speak for all cities everywhere). But I'd assume its pretty much the same.

You DON'T need an ESL certificate to teach there. No one will ever ask for one. Maybe its changed, but I highly doubt it. When I was there, it meant nothing whatsoever. I had a certificate, but the only countries that care about that are Turkey, Indonesia (both made it a minimum requirement legally from what I read), and Western Europe seems to like them a lot. South America is much different. Just not needed. I don't think they have enough teachers from English-speaking countries that can easily arrive there for one to make it a requirement. Plus the pays are low, so most people just won't go anyways because of that.

The best time to arrive. NOT before Carnival. Actually I'd arrive just before Carnival and party and have a good time, and then afterwards, people get around to studying English again if its their interests/goal. Everything pretty much stops for two months just before Christmas until after Carnival. If you aren't into Carnival, just go in March a few weeks after Carnival. Yes, April is a great month as well.

How dangerous are the cities. They are dangerous, but they also have their good areas. If you are specifically interested in Rio de Jainero, then pay will be much lower and teachers will be more plentiful. You'll have a lot more competition. I always felt quite safe in Ipanema. There are always good areas in every city, although they cost more as well to live in the good areas - just like anywhere in the world I suppose. A lot of cities hire armed guards on the streets who just watch the tourists and make sure they are okay. It might be alarming at first, but it isn't a bad thing.

Take in mind I left Brazil in 1998, and while I try to keep informed on most things, and it seems like most of these things are still true, it could also have changed much more than I think.
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brucecrawford



Joined: 19 Mar 2008
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Jun 10, 2008 6:51 pm    Post subject: Re: is ESL teaching certificate really needed? (TIGER BEER) Reply with quote

Tiger Beer wrote:
Take in mind I left Brazil in 1998, and while I try to keep informed on most things, and it seems like most of these things are still true, it could also have changed much more than I think.


I know this is VERY old but I thought it might be relevant to mention that the situation has not changed much since 1998 when you were here! Only a few schools offer the CELTA here and to the best of my knowledge there aren't any Trinity CerTESOL centres in Brazil.

Public and private schools will require a 'licenciatura' (which is the traditional 'teaching' degree in Brazil), if you are a Brazilian citizen or landed immigrant. If you come from overseas, a degree in the major you intend to teach plus any teaching credentials are required. You might have to validate your foreign credentials here if you wish to teach in the mainstream education sector; this is a long and arduous process!

English language schools or 'escolas de idiomas', will ask you to provide evidence of your knowledge of English (usually a Michigan or Cambridge Certificate will do) or, being a native speaker yourself, your passport and a few other certificates from an English-speaking country (i.e. high school diploma or degree) might suffice. Some schools run pre-service training programmes lasting from 1 - 6 days before you can actually start teaching English with their 'method'.

Bruce
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dove



Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Posts: 227
Location: USA/Japan

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think having knowledge of Portuguese is much more important than having a TEFL certificate. My Portuguese is basic and I have struggled in some ways. I work for a company that sends me out to teach English at various companies in Sao Paulo. You have to navigate buses and then you have to be able to find the office and then you have to get past the front desk because every place in SP has guards and very, very few people speak English. Of course the consulting company doesn't go with you on the first day (unlike in Japan where I used to work). It ain't easy. If you can make your way in SP, you can make your way anywhere.
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brucecrawford



Joined: 19 Mar 2008
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Tue Jun 17, 2008 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dove wrote:
If you can make your way in SP, you can make your way anywhere.


Hi Dove,

I'd rather say that if you can make it in Brazil, you can make it anywhere. It is, in fact, a difficult country in which to work. I am fluent in Portuguese and my wife is Brazilian but I couldn't agree with you more!

Bruce
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naturegirl321



Joined: 04 May 2003
Posts: 8977
Location: home sweet home

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 1:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why is it so hard?
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dove



Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Posts: 227
Location: USA/Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2008 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's hard for me because Sao Paulo is a huge, sprawling city and it's not the safest place in the world. It's hard to figure out the buses. It's hard to ask directions and understand what people say because my Portuguese skills are low (my fault, and I NEVER expected people to speak English, and no matter how much I struggle and butcher the language, I keep on trying and NEVER expect people to speak English--except for my students, that is). It's difficult because it's hard to teach all over the city, usually during the morning, lunch and evening hours. You are always running in this city, especially if you teach at companies. It's difficult because Sao Paulo is so expensive and the wages don't allow me to save too much.

I am glad I gave it a shot here. I have done my best.(Actually, I have become a better teacher because the students I teach have high expectations and they WANT to learn, they want me to prepare articles and worksheets;they don't want to be stuck in the textbook) I have met some wonderful people. But I don't want to struggle. I'm heading back to Japan in late August. Brazil was a great break from Japan, but I thank God I still have a valid Japanese work visa (By the way, a work visa is almost impossible to get here, so that in itself makes things difficult).

Or maybe it's just me......
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 762
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 5:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dove, sounds like you are working for Linguatec? Or a very similar English organization.

That was my life with Linguatec, running all over the city of Sao Paulo teaching English, if I was lucky enough to have each 'shift' filled - the before work shift, the lunchtime shift, and the after work shift. Usually it was very sporadic and often had many unfilled shifts (which meant much less money, which meant no money to do anything)

In retrospect, it wasn't worth it. Travelling all over Sao Paulo to go to companies and only being paid for actual teaching time. I spent quite a bit of time trying to get to and from places, as well as being so hungry from being out of the house all day running around. I had to eat out often, spending most of the money earned.

I absolutely loved Brazil, but I found it real hard to make ends meet with my particular English-teaching situation in Brazil as well. I did meet some long-termers, and I think they had more set hours somewhere, but I certainly didn't have any financial security whatsoever with my position. Plus no work visa, etc.

I still LOVED being in Brazil though, but real hard for me to sustain that kind of lifestyle (a very busy AND very poor one) for the long-term.
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dove



Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Posts: 227
Location: USA/Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jun 19, 2008 8:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't work for Linguatec, but probably a company similar to them. My company doesn't pay my transportation to my on-site jobs and the metro system in Sao Paulo is not cheap. You are right about it not being worth it, what with the cost of food and the cost of transportation. Also you are right about not getting all your shifts filled. I never get lunch-time lessons from my company.
The funny thing is now that I am leaving, more job offers have come in. I have turned them down, though, because I am leaving in a few months. Also, people who live in my apartment have found out that a native speaker is in their midst, and I've gotten some offers from that. I think one really needs to stay in Brazil more than 6 months to really start getting established. Also, one really needs to be aggressive. For example, I could slide my business card and a flyer under every door in my apartment building. But the bottom line is that the tourist visa is only for 6 months, and work visas are not given to English teachers. Brazil has been a good break from Japan, but like I said, I thank God every night that my Japanese work visa is still valid (and I even left my Japanese bank account open.....I guess I knew that I would return to Japan).
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Tiger Beer



Joined: 08 Feb 2003
Posts: 762
Location: Hong Kong

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 2:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dove,

That was pretty much my experience in Brazil.

I only had a six month visa, and at the time, you could only be in Brazil for six months out of any one calendar year.

The first few months I was just trying to get my feet on the ground, although I found the Linguatec job on Day 2 of arriving in Sao Paulo.

Once I was on month 3-4 I was on 'cruise' control and trying to figure out options for the tourist visa to work visa or what else - apparently many longterm expats in Brazil just completely overstay their visa!

But about month 4-5, I resigned myself that I'd be leaving Brazil after the 6-month visa was up, and just then I was seeing all these MANY other choices and options, but I just wanted to enjoy the time left (as financially stressed as it was) before it was time to go.
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dove



Joined: 01 Oct 2003
Posts: 227
Location: USA/Japan

PostPosted: Fri Jun 20, 2008 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tiger Beer,

My goal now is to just enjoy the time I have left (officially I have to be out of Brazil by Sept 1st). I don't want to leave this country feeling stressed-out. And that is exactly how I have been feeling since the second day I arrived....I, like you, also found a job on my second day. I'm going to quit my jobs at the end of July so I can have a month to just enjoy the city and travel around this marvelous country. I've resigned myself that Brazil just isn't the place to be an ESL teacher. I broke even, I met some wonderful people, I had an experience. Time to move on.
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Evanzinho



Joined: 18 Apr 2008
Posts: 28
Location: Seoul, South Korea

PostPosted: Sat Jun 21, 2008 6:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think teaching ESL in Brasil can be summed up this way:

MAKE your money teaching in Korea/Japan, and SPEND it in Brasil!
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Amani Renas



Joined: 16 Mar 2008
Posts: 72
Location: The 3rd Dimension

PostPosted: Sun Jun 29, 2008 10:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Evanzinho wrote:
I think teaching ESL in Brasil can be summed up this way:

MAKE your money teaching in Korea/Japan, and SPEND it in Brasil!


My plans exactly! Smile
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