There are many different ways to teach English here in Argentina.
English classes are really popular for employees at different companies here in Buenos Aires. Language Institutes work to supply companies with English tutors.
As a native speaker, you will most likely have private hour and a half classes with the directors and upper managers of a company. All of your students will be fairly advanced and want practice with fluency, accuracy of expression and listening to a native accent. Media groups, oil and steel companies and banks are just a few examples of the types of companies that employee this type of service. Class times will usually be in the morning before the workday begins, during the lunch hour and after work around 6 or 7pm. The teacher travels to each school, and if you’re lucky, you will get a block of classes at one company. It pays anywhere between 23 and 40 pesos per hour. I mostly work in companies. My students are great, interesting people and the work is stimulating and never boring.
The city is also full of private language institutes that provide extracurricular English classes for anyone who wants to learn. Commonly found in more suburban parts of the city, some operate in their own studios, while others simply send teachers to the homes of different students. You are more likely to get group classes, usually just two to five students per class. The things you might teach vary depending on the students needs. Some examples include TOEFL Test preparations, interview preparations, crash course English for travelers and afterschool tutoring for younger students. For a wide variety of teaching opportunities, this type of institute is a good bet. The pay is anywhere between 25 and 35 pesos per hour.
For the more entrepreneurial, hiring yourself out for private lessons is a good option. You can charge up to ten pesos more per hour and choose your own schedule. As a foreigner, you constantly meet people who are interested in learning English, so it isn’t hard to find students. Please note that you should establish a cancellation and payment policy with your students upon contract. One thing to consider is having a place to give the classes. If you and your student feel comfortable you can go to each other’s respective homes, or perhaps meet in a café.
HOW TO FIND A JOB
When applying for jobs it’s good to look in local newspapers or on websites like zonajobs.com and craigslist. Send your CV, which should include a local address, all of your teaching experience and a current headshot, to different employers and most will contact you for an interview. Dress nicely for job interviews, but formal dress like suits and ties are not necessary for most interviews. People who work at language institutes are all fluent in English; so don’t worry about the language barrier during your interview. Be confident. There is a high demand for native English teachers.
RESEARCH YOUR JOB OFFERS
When you receive job offers, I recommend not jumping at the first one. Be sure to research your company. Ask to talk to other native teachers that work at the company to get a good feel for the place. Be sure to ask:
– When you get paid, and in cash or with check.
– If taxes are deducted from your pay.
– If your students are required to have books.
– How many extra reports you are required to write for the company.
– Whether you are responsible for your own lesson plans and syllabi.
– Policy for cancellations and make up classes.
I have worked for three different language institutes here in Buenos Aires. Two have been very positive experiences, and one was very negative. Some companies are more demanding, some more lenient. With a wide variety of options and opportunities, you’re sure to find a good fit for you as a teacher.