Date posted:2011-05-08 | Writer: Instituto de Linguas | Email: [email protected]
Thank you for your inquiry and for your interest in my school. This program was developed by ASBI, a cultural exchange organization in the south of Brazil. It has been designed for native speakers of English who want to exchange ESL teaching for the opportunity to live in Brazil and become acquainted with its language and culture. This is the second time that my school is going to take part in it. TEFL qualifications are preferred but not required. Some form of ESL teaching experience is also advantageous.
School semesters in Brazil last approximately from March 1st until July 20th and from August 1st to December 20th. Besides the regular semesters, I also run intensive programs in July, January & February. Teachers can come for one or two semesters, but I will really appreciate having a guest teacher who is able to commit to staying for two semesters.
Here is a full description of my teaching exchange program:
LANGUAGE & CULTURE AT VB IN BRAZIL
My name is Verônica Baumhardt, and I´m 63 years old. I have three children: Victor Frederico (29) (who lives and works in Bahia), Virginia (28) and Vinicius (26). We live in Porto Alegre. The school is also located in Porto Alegre, in a famous area called Bom Fim, a very interesting neighborhood traditionally inhabited by intellectuals and students. The main campus of our federal university (Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul) is also located here.
We are all native speakers of Portuguese. In 2005 completed a Master´s Degree Program in ESL teaching at Marshall University WV, USA. During my time at Marshall I also taught Portuguese and Spanish. My children have also had experience living and studying English abroad – Vinícius (in the USA & Ireland) and Virgínia (in the UK).
After living in Santa Cruz do Sul (where I taught Portuguese as a second language for S&K www.sk.com.br from 1998 until 2003) I spent two years living in the USA (2004 – 2005). Back in Porto Alegre, in 2006, I started the school, and since then I have worked as a private tutor and instructor for various companies in Porto Alegre. Currently I have 30 students, most of whom take private classes.
Now that the number of students has increased, I have been able to begin bringing native teachers to work with me. The students still study in small groups (2 to 4 people), because there is not currently space for more at the school. I believe that the presence of a native speaker can be a very enriching experience for both instructor and students. I also have a long experience teaching Portuguese as a Second Language, and presently I have students from the USA, India, and China. I am also retired from a Brazilian federal bank.
Porto Alegre is the eleventh most populous municipality in Brazil and the capital city of the southernmost Brazilian state of Rio Grande do Sul. The city is the southernmost capital city of all Brazilian states. Porto Alegre is one of the most important cultural, political and economic centers of Brazil. Two Mercosul countries, Argentina and Uruguay, border Rio Grande do Sul.
My teaching philosophy is based on the ideas of Paulo Freire, a renowned Brazilian educator, considered one of the most important education theorists of the twentieth century. In his book Pedagogia da Autonomia, he states that “the point of teaching is not just to transfer knowledge, but to create possibilities for the production or construction of knowledge”. His idea that the teacher must be a “facilitator” in the classroom is deeply related to modern concepts in second-language acquisition, where students also have to be responsible for their own progress, being an active participant in the classroom, and expressing themselves in the language they are studying from the outset.
So, following his ideas, when I prepare classes I take into consideration the student’s interests, life experiences, personality and age, in order to present new information which is meaningful for him or her. Oral communication is always emphasized, but writing, reading and listening are also stressed intensively.
The school maintains a fully furnished one-bedroom apartment near the school to accommodate the guest teacher. We make an effort to provide comfortable accommodation but also expect our guests to be careful with the furniture and conscientious about saving energy, not forgetting to turn off lights or electric heaters when not in use.
Strong economic measures to contain inflation in the 90s made the cost of living in Brazil, which had always been low, comparable to the cost of living in the U.S. for a few years. From 1999 to 2003, there was a devaluation of the Brazilian real and the cost of living once more fell dramatically. Since the Brazilian currency went up against the dollar in 2006 and 2007, the cost of living is once again closer to that of the U.S., though still cheaper, and much cheaper
than in Europe.
On the other hand, wages in general are low when converted to foreign currencies. For this reason, the program should not be regarded as a money-making opportunity, but rather as a unique cultural learning experience.
I commit myself to offering the guest teacher an opportunity to learn the Brazilian language and culture in the atmosphere of a major city. I guarantee to provide the minimal amount of work necessary for your full maintenance plus a reasonable income, depending on your working schedule and lifestyle. Even in the event that sufficient work is not available, the guest teacher will still have all necessary expenses taken care of.
One hour a day of teaching (R$20, Monday through Friday only) pays for the whole week's accommodations, including utilities. There is no deduction from Saturday hours. Payments are biweekly and all income is 100% tax-free. As of the fourth week after the beginning of each semester (April 1st for the first semester and September 1st for the second), I guarantee a minimum of 20 hours over a 2-week period. This means that if the school is not able to provide 20 hours of work in a period of two weeks, the teacher will still be paid the equivalent to 20 hours.
Bonus: In addition, the school will pay an end-of-program bonus of US$400 for teachers staying one complete semester and US$800 for those staying two semesters. The US$800 bonus is paid only in full, at the end of the second semester. Teachers coming with a trainee visa, under the commitment of staying 2 semesters but for any reason staying only one, will have US$200 deducted from the US$400 bonus, to cover part of the visa fee paid by the school and expenses arising from recruitment. (See visa instructions below.)
Additional obligations of the school are:
1. To meet the participant at the airport and provide transportation to his/her accommodation.
2. To provide telephone access and make available to the participant computers with internet access.
3. To provide two Portuguese group lessons or one private lesson per week for free.
4. To provide orientation and support while the participant acts as language instructor, always respecting his or her individual style.
The participant's obligations are:
1. To be available Monday through Saturday for teaching up to 22 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 majority of classes take place between 6 and 9 PM. Saturday hours are only in the morning, between 8 and 12 (a group lesson on Saturday is 2 hours long). As a teacher, the participant's most important credential is to be communicative, considerate and interested in making friends.
2. To spend the necessary time preparing classes, to cooperate in the general running of the school (filling out evaluation forms for each student at the end of each semester, interviewing a new student or answering the phone when around, for example) and especially in maintaining student enthusiasm. 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.
3. Although medical services are much more affordable than in the U.S., and for most occurrences 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 private medical insurance for the duration of your stay.
Summer and winter breaks:
Teachers coming for 2 semesters may have a break between semesters of 2 or 3 weeks in July (winter) and 2 months from Christmas to the end of February (summer). However, this is only a possibility, which needs to be negotiated with me because the school may need to cover ongoing private classes during summer and winter.
The school will provide one Portuguese private lesson a week, for free. Teachers seriously interested in improving their Portguese can make friends among their students and people in the neighborhood to acquire culture as well as language. Samba and capoeira lessons are also available in the city.
Work visas are very difficult and expensive to get, requiring the services of a lawyer and large amounts of paperwork. For this reason we sponsor study-training visas, which are cheaper and easier to get. Eligibility for the study-training visa depends on the candidate being able to prove that he or she is a student in their home country or has just finished his or her studies. 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 recommendation from ASBI, an exchange organization. Such a letter adds credibility and minimizes the chances of the visa being denied. We will cover the both the fee charged by ASBI your registration on a college course to comply with the visa requirements. The study-training visa is valid for up to one year, extendable for another one-year period, and must be applied for in your home country. We prefer guest teachers who intend to stay for at least two semesters.
If you are not in your home country, the only possibility is to apply for a tourist visa. A tourist visa however is valid for only 6 months and the holder is not entitled to work. It would be of use only for studying Portuguese.
The Brazilian Consulate will charge a fee for the study-training 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$110. We expect the trainee to pay for the consular fees in his country and 50% of the immigration fee in Brazil, while I will pay the other 50% in addition to the ASBI and college registration fees.
If you are interested in this program, please let me know. The application process is quite simple. You send me a resume and a photo as an e-mail attachment and decide whether you prefer to come for one semester or as a trainee for two semesters. I will then refer you to Linda Rayner (former ESL coordinator at S&K) to answer any questions you may have and to set up a phone interview.
If the guest teacher arrives by air, I will provide airport pickup from the local commercial airport (Porto Alegre). If the teacher travels by bus, he or she is expected to arrive at the bus terminal of Porto Alegre. There are daily buses from São Paulo to Porto Alegre (a 17-hour journey!) and from Buenos Aires to Porto Alegre (a 20-hour journey).
I like to stay at home at weekends. My hobbies are cooking, reading, watching movies and going for a walk (there are many beautiful parks in Porto Alegre). We don't smoke so I would appreciate having a guest teacher who doesn’t smoke either.
This will be my first experience as a hostess for a foreign instructor. But I have already taught for S&K for several years (before going to the USA, in 2004). I have many former students from the USA, Canada and the UK who can provide references about me.
I am looking forward to answering all your questions. Thank you very much for your interest in my school, and keep in touch. The best way to contact me is by e-mail at the address given on the job heading.
Verônica de Castro Caetano Baumhardt – Coordinator
V. Baumhardt – Instituto de Línguas Ltda.
Rua General João Telles, 542 / Sala 905
90035 – 120 Porto Alegre/RS
Phone: 55 (51) 3029.3400
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