Teach English in Chile and build your TESOL career
Would you like to teach English in Chile? English language teaching posts in South America are gowing in number and, in particular, there is increasing demand for English language teachers in Chile these days. If you are a native, or near-native speaker of English, and you are TESOL / TEFL qualified, then there is a teaching post for you. Chile is a fascinating country with beautiful beaches, stunning deserts and dramatic glaciers. The capital, Santiago, with its Mediterranean climate, is a lively and interesting city which is becoming a very popular destination for people wanting to teach English abroad. However, there are also teaching opportunities in many other towns and cities in the country including Concepción, La Serena, Puerto Montt, Valparaíso and Viña del Mar.
Teaching posts are available in government and private primary and secondary schools (high schools) and colleges, as well as in language centres. There are also more and more opportunities to teach Business English for a language school, or directly for a company. Teachers / trainers holding a TESOL / TEFL certificate as well as a TBE certificate (Teaching Business English) can earn much higher rates of pay and there are a growing number of these opportunities.
The minimum qualification is a 110-hour teaching certificate, although a 150-hour TESOL / TEFL certificate (or one month full time) is the industry standard and this qualification is strongly recommended. TESOL-direct (www.tesol-direct.com) offers a highly regarded course accredited by ACCREDITAT. It would be wise to be cautious about companies offering both training and teaching posts in Chile. The training is sometimes inadequate and the teaching posts offered are sometimes poorer quality.
Ideally, teachers will
- be native speakers of English
- have a university degree (any subject)
- possess an accredited TESOL / TEFL certificate (150-hours or one month full time)
- be fit and healthy
- will have some overseas teaching experience
- be between 21 and 60.
Accommodation will sometimes be provided by a language centre or a school but in some cases teachers will be expected to find their own accommodation. However, many contracts with schools or colleges will include
- a work visa
- a health package
- a salary in US dollars of between $600 and $1,500 per month depending on qualifications, experience and contract length (most, $600 – $1,000)
- return flights where contracts of 12 months or more have been completed.
You do not need to be a Spanish speaker but it would be a good idea to make the effort to learn as much as you can while you are in Chile in order to make your life far more interesting, and to help you make friends.
Chile is fascinating geographically, in part because of the way it winds down the west coast of the continent. The distance between the sea coast and the mountains is quite short and so there are many opportunities for enjoying the beaches and the sea, as well as the mountains. About three quarters of the country is classified as mountainous and many people enjoy hiking the many routes through the hills. The Atacama Desert is a spectacular area which does not receive rain for decades at a time.
Chile is one of the largest wine producers in the world as well as being one of the largest producers of copper.