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Portugal Job Listings

TEFL jobs in Portugal and information about such positions can at first prove troublesome to find. Unlike its neighbouring country of Spain, ESL teachers in Portugal have not enjoyed a constant and high demand in recent years, a fact which is probably due to only a few minor differences between the two peninsular countries.

While Spain’s increasing need for qualified EFL teachers has not wavered over the last decade, growth of private language academies in Portugal has been much slower. Perhaps this is due to a few cultural changes such as Portugal’s cinemas and televisions always showing films and series in the original language. Perhaps it is that the Portuguese have been more open to the idea of using English for a longer period, while the Spanish have only embraced the idea of English as an international language in recent years. Or perhaps it is merely that the perceived lack of EFL positions is indeed only that, a perception.

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Looking more closely and searching for private language academies in specific Portuguese cities, we can see that there are in fact many to be found. For some reason, however, such academies rarely advertise their jobs on intermediary websites; the most probable reason for the lack of information about positions.

Should you be lucky enough to find a position it is unlikely that your role will be a full-time one. Reports relay that ESL teachers are often only taken on to teach classes of young learners and business English, while general English classes may be taught by natives with proficiency-level certificates. Even when applying for one of these part-time positions it is likely that you will be required to hold a degree. Those who also possess a strong EFL qualification will probably be selected above those without.

With limited contract hours on offer it may be difficult to maintain a comfortable standard of living.  You may therefore be forced to either find multiple TEFL jobs in Portugal or supplement your EFL experience with private lessons.

There has certainly been an increase in ESL teaching, possibly due to increased tourism. Perhaps this increase will continue and we will soon see ESL demand in Portugal as high as that in Spain. For the moment, however, most jobs will only be found if you are willing to travel to the country to seek out the positions in person. The best time to do this is probably the end of August when academies are reopening. You may also search national and international websites at the end of June to see if any positions have become available as faculty members leave.

Porto, Lisbon and other large cities such as Coimbra and Braga are certainly the most likely locations to find work. One further possibility for securing work during the academic year is to first apply for summer camp jobs from June to August. Such camps may lead to full-time employment or at the very least allow you to network and assess your options whilst earning a competitive salary.

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