Requirements for Teaching English in Latin America

Whether you are a newly qualified teacher or are simply looking to move on to a new country after teaching for some time, it is important to research the requirements for English teachers in your chosen destination. Finding out what qualifications are needed, whether you need a visa before arriving etc. in advance will help you to create a successful plan and avoid disappointment farther down the road. This infographic looks at the requirements needed for teaching in Latin America.


With regard to qualifications the majority of countries in the region will require at least a TEFL certificate. While preferred, a degree is not always necessary in most Latin American countries making it a great destination for those who have not completed a university degree. One exception is Costa Rica which does require EFL teachers to be educated to degree level.

Visa requirements differ little between countries and in most cases you can enter a country and look for work on a tourist visa before arranging the appropriate visa for working.

Although native speakers tend to be preferred in jobs advertised online, fluent non-native English speakers should be able to find work in the region, especially if you are able to apply in person. Employers tend to cut down on the large number of email applications they receive by dismissing any from non-native speakers. If you are able to apply in person, you stand a much better chance of securing a position.

With regard to teaching experience, as with many places around the world, prior teaching experience is not a necessity for getting a job in Latin America. Any experience you can get will be an advantage but on the whole it is not a prerequisite to being given a job. As with most EFL positions employers in Latin America do not expect teachers to speak the native language and while knowledge of Portuguese is an advantage in Brazil, it is not essential.

 

Infographic Teach in Latin America

 

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