TOP 10 TIPS FOR TEACHING ENGLISH IN SOUTH AMERICA
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Are you interested in learning the tango? Are you dreaming of soaking up some sun on Copacabana? Are you itching to catch some waves in Pichilemu? If any of these sound like your daydreams, then you’re probably thinking of teaching English in South America. And who can blame you? With gorgeous locations, welcoming cultures and loads of TEFL jobs, South America is a great choice for TEFL teachers at the moment.
As with any great adventure it pays to be prepared, so to help you make the make the most of your South American dream, we’ve put together our top tips to prepare you for teaching English in South America.
1. Get qualified
For sure South America is more chilled than others when it comes to qualifications (like Europe or the UK, for example), but that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t be TEFL-qualified. You don’t necessarily need a degree to teach in South America or have any teaching experience but your chances of finding a job without at least a TEFL certificate are slim. Besides, doing a TEFL course is the best way to prepare yourself for making the magic happen in the classroom.
2. Bigger is better
The first thing you need to decide is where you are going to go. In terms of finding a job in South America, bigger is better. In other words, you are more likely to find a job in the bigger cities. A smaller town or village may offer a more authentic cultural experience but your chances of finding a job there are much smaller than in a big city where there are more students and more schools. Once you have narrowed your decision down to a specific country, pick one of its big cities to start your quest. Buenos Aires, Lima, Santiago and Rio de Janeiro are all good options.
3. Invest in a good pair of sneakers
You may be used to looking for and applying for jobs online, but in South America you will probably need to pound the pavements. Many schools expect you to be able to interview in person, so you will need to consider going to the country without a guaranteed job. This may seem daunting, but this is the way it’s done around these parts. You can look online but don’t be surprised if you find employers prefer their teachers to be in the area already.
4. Watch what you wear
When you find a school you want to apply at, make sure you are well-dressed when you drop in. Even though the culture may seem laidback and chilled, appearance is important so be aware of how you dress. (We were kidding about the sneakers!). Dress modestly and smartly and cover tattoos and body piercings as much as possible. This counts as much for when you pop in to drop off your CV as it does for job interviews.
5. Take your piggy bank
Because you are arriving in the country without employment, this also means that you will need to arrive with enough money to support yourself for a while before you get your first paycheck. It may take a few weeks to find a job and even then it will be a few weeks until you are paid. Happily, the cost of living in South America is pretty low so you won’t need to arrive with millions but bear in mind that you may need to pay a months’ deposit for rent and you may have travel expenses related to your job so factor that into your calculations.
6. Speak the lingo
It’s a no-brainer to try and pick up the language of whichever country you are in, but this can be extended to include translating your CV into Spanish or Portuguese or the relevant language. You could also invest in business cards with your contact details.
7. Be prepared to teach private students
These business cards will come in handy when you are looking for private students, which is common in South America. If possible, wait until you have a local phone number before making the cards so that employers will be able to reach you easily. Then you can have them at hand to leave at libraries or on community noticeboards, or when you meet new friends.
8. And Business English
Business English is becoming very popular in big South American cities as their economies improve. Being a Business English teacher will make you a very attractive teacher for language schools, companies and potential private students. What’s more, teaching Business English can earn you more money than teaching General English. Even if you don’t have any experience in the business sector, sell yourself as capable of teaching Business English and it will make your CV look that much better.
9. Don’t expect to become a millionaire
While most of us become TEFL teachers because we are excited by the opportunities for adventure it will afford us, we still need to be realistic and think about finances. In South America you will certainly make enough to live off and probably enough to live well – think beach getaways on weekends and eating out at restaurants during the week – but don’t count on making enough to pay off your student loan back home. Instead, your focus while living in South America should be on the experience of living in such an amazing destination.
10. When in Rome…
If you are able to put financial concerns to the back of your mind then this is the next step for you. When in Rome, do what the South Americans do…or something like that. South America is not only different geographically to many countries, but also culturally. Embrace the culture and learn to live like a local, even if that might mean living at a slower pace than you are used to. Be prepared to be frustrated when things don’t happen as quickly as you would like them to.
That’s it. Our top ten tips for teaching English in South America. Keep these in mind and you’ll be all set for the South American adventure of a lifetime!
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.