ESL / EFL teacher
1:1 , 1-5 , 6-10
Although we are not against audiolingual exercises with beginners, the emphasis in our school today is on communicative work, using learner-centered activities. We are not confined to any single method, plan or course of lessons, but promote language and culture exchange through human interaction instead. We emphasize language acquisition rather than language learning, as defined by Stephen Krashen in his Natural Approach. As language is a result of human interaction, our school becomes a bilingual living and learning center with groups led by a native in the target culture. We respect each instructor's style, and rely on their ability to build relationships within the group and create a natural desire for communication. Our most important recommendation to our instructors is to build a close relationship with each student if possible.
We believe in the need of beginners for formal instruction and provide it, but always search for the cooperative atmosphere of a learner-centered classroom. Our instructors must be versatile: acting like a businessman when teaching businessmen; becoming a teenager when teaching teenagers; and becoming a child when teaching children. It is important to keep in mind that adapting classroom activities to students' needs and interests demands much more time on class preparation than it would if you just followed a course of lessons and books.
In the last few years we have been noticing an increase in the number of young learners (even toddlers) as compared to adults. We can also notice an improvement in the average proficiency level of those young students who nowadays have more contact with English through the Internet and satellite TV. Therefore, in line with Krashen's theory of language acquisition, we are now planning to include various subjects using the target language (English) as a medium of instruction with intermediate and advanced level students rather than making English the subject of the study itself. So, in addition to teaching ESL, we would teach perhaps History, Geography, Earth & Space Science, Biology, Life Science, American Society, or even Math, Physics or Chemistry, etc. The students would be allowed to drive the learning somewhat, all in a light and flexible manner, without the strain of achievement standards and evaluations.
You can read more about our teaching preferences on and .
There are about 5 other language schools in the city. They teach English almost exclusively since the demand for other foreign languages is very low. As chain schools they need to make regular payments to the head franchiser and their teachers and students have to stick to a strict course of lessons and books, while we are independent and can be much more creative in exploring the instructor's personal ability and adjusting the activities to the students' interests, needs and learning pace. This gives us a good competitive edge. Besides this, they normally operate with poorly paid and poorly qualified Brazilian teachers, while we have had only native speakers besides me. We are without any question more qualified. Although we have a good reputation, most of the important clients, and a significant number of students, we can grow further.
The school maintains one 2-bedroom / 2-bathroom apartment and three single apartments. They are fully furnished and located three blocks from the school and a 10 to 15-minute walk to downtown. We also have a little 1-bedroom cottage in the backyard of the school. At the same time that we try to provide comfortable accommodations, we do expect our guests to be careful with the furniture and conscious about energy saving, not forgetting lights or electric heaters on when leaving the accommodations. See pictures of the two apartment buildings at .
We also have a place to occasionally accommodate guest teachers on the upper floor of the house (which is also part of the school). We live downstairs and the two floors are connected by a staircase. The bedroom is large with 2 large windows and connects directly to the bathroom. There is also a kitchen and a separate entrance to the upper floor.
Because the school has substantial fixed costs to maintain the apartments, we count on occupancy and expect the teachers to live there.
The cost of living in Brazil is low when compared to the cost of living in the U.S., Canada or England. Santa Cruz is even cheaper than big cities and it might also be a better place to make friends and learn the culture.
Wages in general are also low when converted to foreign currencies. For this reason, our program should not be regarded as money-making work, but rather as a unique cultural experience and learning opportunity.
We commit ourselves to offering the guest teacher an opportunity to learn the Brazilian language and culture in the atmosphere of a small town. During the school semesters we guarantee the minimal work for your full maintenance plus a reasonable income depending on your working schedule and lifestyle.
Additional obligations of the school are:
1. To meet the participant at the nearest commercial airport upon arrival and provide transportation to his/her accommodations.
2. To provide telephone access and make available to the participant computers with Internet access and e-mail.
3. To provide four Portuguese group lessons or two private lessons a week for free.
4. To provide orientation and support while the participant acts as language instructor, always respecting his/her individual style.
5. To provide letters of recommendation and references at the end of the term or any time thereafter for the teachers that request them.
6. To maintain contact with the former participant, if he/she so wishes, in order to mutually consult on language matters.
The participant's obligations are:
1. To be available Monday through Saturday for teaching up to 24 hours per week if necessary. The teacher's free time must be available for teaching new groups or private lessons according to the school's needs. The normal time for classes ranges from 8 AM to 9 PM, although they can occasionally start as early as 7:30 AM or finish as late as 10 PM. The large majority is between 6 and 9 PM. Saturday hours are only in the morning, between 8 and 12.
2. To spend the necessary time to prepare classes, to cooperate in the general running of the school (attending meetings, filling out reports and evaluation forms for each student at the end of each semester, helping the secretaries with school procedures) and especially in maintaining student enthusiasm, understanding their needs and helping them improve. With beginner classes we also expect the teacher to cover a basic syllabus (which the school provides), although he/she is free to choose the activities.
Although medical services are very much more affordable than in the U.S., and for most occurrences the free public health care can be used, if you are the kind of person who likes to be on the safe side, we suggest you arrange for medical insurance for the duration of your stay.
The school will provide 2 private lessons or 4 Portuguese group lessons (depending on levels) a week for free, beginning after the arrival of the last teacher for the semester. We also suggest going around and making friends in the community to acquire the culture and the language (very much in line with our teaching philosophy, in fact). Those seriously interested in improving their Portuguese can hire our Portuguese teachers at cost price to get additional help with conversation, grammar, pronunciation, Brazilian literature and cinema. Capoeira lessons are also available in the community at certain times.
Another part of our program is the cultural weekend excursions. These TURISMO CULTURAL items are occasional weekend trips to places of interest. For this purpose the school has a 9-passenger van. The school covers the cost of gas, and each person pays for his/her personal expenses. The idea is to show a larger area of Brazil and integrate cultures bringing together guest teachers and students in an informal atmosphere so that everybody learns English and Portuguese having fun together.
More detailed information about the Portuguese program is available at .
In addition, I'm willing to be your Portuguese advisor 24 hours a day if you like. When I'm not teaching I'll be always available to answer your questions and to discuss language. I have taught Portuguese to foreigners before and as I have already said, my research work is predominantly on contrastive linguistics, so I think our knowledge exchange will be quite interesting for both. The school secretaries are also available to be consulted at any time during working hours.
All participants are invited to take part in a voluteer program. Menino Deus (Child God) is a poor neighborhood located on the periphery of Santa Cruz do Sul and is home to around 600 low-income families. The Menino Deus Speaks English project commenced in 2005 as a social initiative undertaken by the Schütz & Kanomata Language Institute in conjunction with the residents’ association. The initiative currently involves 30 kids who have the opportunity of learning English and American culture. It provides not only a great benefit for the community, but also for the volunteer instructors, who get a chance to learn about the Brazilian reality in all its nuances and depth. For the foreigners who come to learn the Brazilian language and culture, learning about this enormous portion of the country represented by urban communities like Menino Deus, makes a more complete cultural experience. Often we might not have material wealth, but our riches lie in interpersonal relationships. It is always interesting to experience the strength of the family ties and solidarity so characteristic of our culture. By volunteering once a week, the foreign instructors will also receive a special letter of recommendation from ASBI, an accredited Brazilian cultural exchange organization that we work with.
Work visas are very difficult and expensive to get, feasible only for executives of large corporations. For this reason we sponsor study-training visas, which are cheaper and easier to get. Accepted applicants receive a Letter of Acceptance to our program. There is always a possibility to apply for a work visa after a successful and rewarding experience for both parties.
If you are accepted to our program, you will receive the documents for the visa including a letter of invitation from ASBI, an exchange organization that provides bureaucratic support to our program. Such a letter adds credibility and minimizes the chances of the visa being denied. The visa is good for two semesters and you have to apply in your home country unless you have lived elsewhere for more than two years. We prefer teachers that intend to stay for two semesters at least.
Teachers coming for two semesters but for any reason deciding to stay only one must inform the school one month and a half in advance. In case of early terminations, the study-training visa technically expires and the Immigration Department expects the foreigner to leave the country.
If you are not in your home country, you can still apply for the visa, if you have lived there for more than 2 years.
The Brazilian Consulate will charge a fee for the study visa that is a little more expensive than the fee for a tourist visa. Different nationals will be charged different fees, which are equivalent to the ones charged from Brazilians by their countries' consulates in Brazil for similar visas. In addition, there will be a registration fee to be paid to the immigration in Brazil of approximately US$100. This mandatory registration entitles the foreigner to have free health care. We expect the trainee to pay for the consular fees in his country and 50% of the immigration fee in Brazil, while the company (S&K) pays the other 50% in addition to ASBI's fees.
Santa Cruz do Sul is located about a thousand kilometers south of São Paulo. It is a city of about 90,000 inhabitants with over 110,000 in the municipality. Santa Cruz started as a German immigration center in the 1800s, having become an interesting blend of cultures today.
Santa Cruz is rather prosperous and safe compared to other Brazilian cities. We are 100 miles (160 km.) from Porto Alegre, the largest city, the state capital and the nearest commercial airport. The main economic activity of Santa Cruz is leaf tobacco production, processing and exporting. Other industries are clothing, corn seed production, machinery, and rubber. There is also a university. See more about Santa Cruz at , read some cultural tips about Brazil at and watch a couple of videos one of our teachers did in 2014: and .
If the guest teacher arrives by air, we provide airport pickup from the nearest commercial airport (Porto Alegre), which is 100 miles from Santa Cruz do Sul, where we are. If the teacher travels by bus, he/she is expected to arrive at the bus terminal of Santa Cruz. There are daily buses from São Paulo to Santa Cruz (a 19-hour journey!) and from Buenos Aires to Porto Alegre (a 20-hour journey). There are also comfortable buses running almost every hour between Porto Alegre and Santa Cruz (a 2-hour trip).
We like to stay at home on weekends when not traveling with the teachers. My hobbies are the maintenance of the house and photography. I also enjoy riding my bicycle, which is primary means of transportation. My wife works a lot in the garden. We like classical music. We also like dogs and love cats. We keep 1 dog and 4 cats. We don't smoke but we don't mind if other people smoke.
So far we have had more than 160 guest teachers from the U.S., Canada, and England. Most of them have learned a lot of Portuguese and done a good job. Many of them are available to provide references.
Santa Cruz do Sul, RS, Brazil
0 years (beginners, too)
Bachelor degree (BA) in a relevant subject