teaching english in argentina

Branwen

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Hi,
I have a Bachelor's Degree in American Studies from a very reputable Liberal Arts institution and several graduate level courses (in Translation studies and Labor Studies) which would have led to a Masters Degree which I could not finish from the U.S.. I am Argentinean and I have been teaching ESL here since 2004 for companies mainly. So I have experience!
I wonder if I still need the TEFL certificate or some similar teaching certificate and if so, Where can I pursue it here in Buenos Aires? Aren't those programs expensive here?
Also, I've noticed competition from several national language training institutions here like Lenguas Vivas or Joaquín V. González and in some classified ads they specifically ask for graduates from those institutions and/or teachers with a national degree and with Methodology courses taken. Aren't these discriminatory ads?? I will immensely appreciate information and/or comments, suggestions. Many thanks!!
 

CA2BA

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yillabean said:
i've been in buenos aires for 4 months now. i arrived in the beginning of summer when there was no work (i understood that before i arrived). nevertheless i sent out 20-25 resumes in december. in then end of january i got a call for a job (only one call). since january i've been givin more students as time goes on. i am currently teaching 13 students with the promise of teaching more come april.

it's true that the employer wants you here in buenos aires before they interview you.

i'm paid 26 pesos for just conversation classes, i don't teach grammar. i've gone on other interviews where i have been offered 13 pesos and 20 pesos. i did not accept these low offers.

two of my students have passed my name along, so i now have 2 private students. i hope to get more as time goes by.

before coming here, i thought i would live off my teachers salary and not touch my savings, but that is not true. i've been using my savings since i arrived.

the reason it's not possible to work full-time is because, generally speaking, you have to travel / walk to the next student's office. it's rare that you would get a bunch of students all in one location for a full-work load. also students cancel their classes because they have to travel or have a meeting. 20-30 hours a week is realistic.

if you aren't planning on taking any certification (which i found helpful) than i would suggest that you volunteer to teach esl at your local ymca or church for the experience.

if you have a month of weekends available, i would strongly suggest taking a TESOL /TESL / TEFL certification through Oxford Seminars. it was less expensive than other certifications and i was impressed the with material and the classes were fun too. http://www.oxfordseminars.com/

if you'll just be teaching english and not wanting to touch your savings there is no way you can afford your own place, unless you want to live in a seedy area. room shares in nice neighborhoods are from $350-500 a month. I've seen room shares on craigslist for $250 a month but as a woman, I would not want to live in the neighborhood where the room is.

plan on having savings to back you up, especially for the first months until you find a job and pick up private students.

for what it's worth, i have no regrets moving here. i'm very happy.


great post...I needed this!
 

allcraz

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To all you English teachers out there...or hopefuls...If this is not the first time around for you, are you finding it more difficult or easier this year to get the schedule you want at the pay you desire?

And for those new to the game, are you finding the job search to be as you had expected?

I know my institute has lost some clients due to the recession, and I was wondering if anyone else is seeing this trend. Compared to the past two years, 2009 is taking longer to get into swing. I know they are not hiring as many new teachers as in the past.
 

aliza4

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Hi all! So I have a CELTA certificate and taught English for 2 years in Madrid and am here in BA now and planning to stay for at least 6 months. Can anyone suggest where (which academies) I should send my resume or even better, does anyone have a direct contact I could email. Any contact info would be much appreciated as sending resumes to the abyss of a website does not usually work. Thanks!
 

gatoverde

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It is necessary to have some Methodology training in order to be able to teach the students grammar tenses, structures and the like and you have to remember as well that local teacher training schools such as Lenguas Vivas or Joaquin V Gonzalez have both very intensive long-term courses of studies where no-one is expected to graduate in less than 4 years, even attending full-time lessons and devoting all your leisure time to practising and studying.

You may argue that they're a bit handicapped from the beginning because they're not native speakers but on the other hand, a lot of native speakers without any kind of EFL training are also quite limited when it comes to conveying grammar/vocabulary knowledge and giving explanations as they're used to taking these for granted in their mother tongue and therefore unaware of the issues a foreign speaker may be dealing with.

An ideal language teacher should (IMOHO) be a qualified native speaker, but were I to choose between a qualified non-native speaker and a non-qualified native speaker, I'd definitely go for the first one. In spite of being a native Spanish speaker myself I'd never have the nerve of teaching Spanish without having taken any proper teacher training first-I simply wouldn't know where to begin from!
 

Melilelen

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Thanks to Gatoverde for this great post. I am studying English at Lenguas Vivas and flunking subjects such as Grammar and Phonology although my English is very close to a native speaker. It is instrumental that all of us potential English teachers start to accept the limitations we face when we don´t know grammar. In what cases we use a Simple Past as opposed to a Present Perfect? easy to use when you are a native but you´ve got to explain why/how/when to a non-native speaker and give supporting evidence too.
A language is much more complex than just the production of speech and pronounciation (phonetics). As Gatoverde put it, we spend at the very least 5 years studying grammar, phonology, use of language, literature and a number of subjects related to theories of learning and teaching and then we go to a number of practical courses where we put all the theory into practice before we even see a student in real life. Why would you think it would be the same to compare a native speaker who just out of virtue of having acquired his language at birth is ready to do the same job as we do???
good luck to everyone.



gatoverde said:
It is necessary to have some Methodology training in order to be able to teach the students grammar tenses, structures and the like and you have to remember as well that local teacher training schools such as Lenguas Vivas or Joaquin V Gonzalez have both very intensive long-term courses of studies where no-one is expected to graduate in less than 4 years, even attending full-time lessons and devoting all your leisure time to practising and studying.

You may argue that they're a bit handicapped from the beginning because they're not native speakers but on the other hand, a lot of native speakers without any kind of EFL training are also quite limited when it comes to conveying grammar/vocabulary knowledge and giving explanations as they're used to taking these for granted in their mother tongue and therefore unaware of the issues a foreign speaker may be dealing with.

An ideal language teacher should (IMOHO) be a qualified native speaker, but were I to choose between a qualified non-native speaker and a non-qualified native speaker, I'd definitely go for the first one. In spite of being a native Spanish speaker myself I'd never have the nerve of teaching Spanish without having taken any proper teacher training first-I simply wouldn't know where to begin from!
 

HowardinBA

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allcraz said:
To all you English teachers out there...or hopefuls...If this is not the first time around for you, are you finding it more difficult or easier this year to get the schedule you want at the pay you desire?

And for those new to the game, are you finding the job search to be as you had expected?

I know my institute has lost some clients due to the recession, and I was wondering if anyone else is seeing this trend. Compared to the past two years, 2009 is taking longer to get into swing. I know they are not hiring as many new teachers as in the past.
2010 is even slower,at the moment anyway.I raised my price by 5 pesos per hour,but that was accepted by my students:)
 
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