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Teaching English in Guatemala



Finding work in Guatemala City will require a lot of careful planning.The standard of living is low. On a more positive note, cost of living is low.Work visas are hard to get so most foreigners work on a tourist visa. With a high standard of formal training, TEFL work can be found in better paying schools if there is persistence on the part of the job seeker. The English teacher must be flexible in what he or she aspires to.The educational center of Guatemala is in Quetzaltenango or, as it is more commonly known as, Xela.It is a dramatic city geographically as it is surrounded by 10 volcanoes; however it is growing in population quite rapidly and is recognized as a good place to search for work as an EFL teacher.

There are five universities in Xela and numerous language schools.The need for English teachers is great in Guatemala some students right out of secondary schooling need to show proficiency in order to enter a university and others need to improve their career opportunities. Some Guatemalan people are simply interested in learning English because they like American culture. There is a preference for all English schools for obvious reasons.There are four schools among others that accept native speakers:BestEnglishSchool, Instituto Central America, Instituto Guatemalteco Americano and Inter-AmericaSchool.

Each school offers benefits, for example, some may offer free Spanish lessons.Hiring usually occurs during the spring months for the fall terms.Hours of work vary from school to school and benefits depend upon qualifications.The salary for the English teacher is estimated as between $2.00 US to $5.00 US per hour in language schools; $5.00 US to $8.00 US per hour for private lessons. Furnished one bedroom apartments can range between $250 US to $360 US per month. Shared accommodations can run at slightly cheaper rates.

References:

Collin, Peter and Collin Simon, Guide to English Teaching 2005.Modern English Publishing 2005. pp. 203-204.

Nelson, J.L., Handbook for Teaching English in Mexico and Central America.Writers Club Press 2000.p. 100.

MacDonnell, Claire, www.transitionsabroad.com

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