Friday 24 October 2008

Best TEFL Institutes in Peru

Updated 21 January 2013

There are lots of things to do in Lima and many people want to live there, as a result, there are a ton of TEFL institutes there. However, the institutes below continually receive positive feedback from teachers. One thing that stands out is that the majority of these institutes are run by expats. For more information look at top institutes in Lima, the ultimate guide to teaching in Peru, FAQ Peru, and The Ultimate Peru List.



  • Excel: Known for its laid-back work environment. Pay is about $6 an hour.
  • Maximo Nivel: They allow teachers to teach for a few months in one city, then go to another. Pay is about $6 an hour. Read my Interview with Maximo Nivel. Contact
  • Auslang: They work primarily with companies and business professionals as well as focus on international exams. They also offer private classes and work with children aged 3-16 years old. Contact
  • Business Links: One of the top and oldest Business English Institutes in Lima. Pay is $8-10 an hour. Jirón Tacna 873, Miraflores. Tel: 4226002. . Ask for Alex Ellul.
  • Camelot: They're a teacher training organisation and need people to teach courses such as pronunciation, grammar, etc. Av Dos de Mayo 162, Miraflores. Tel: 4467414 or 4440147 . Ask for Arturo Fields.
  • English Life: Started by a British expat in 2004 and passed to another Brit in 2007. It's known for its small groups. Pay is about $8 an hour. Av. La Paz 434, Office 602, Miraflores. Tel: 4461968. . Ask for Valerie Watson.
  • Fulbright: They need people to teach exam prep classes, such as GMAT, SAT, ACT, and TOEFL. Pay starts at $8 an hour. Juan Romero Hidalgo 444, San Borja. Tel: 475308. . Ask for Illa.
  • Master Business English: One of the two top Business English Institutes in Lima. Teachers teach off-site courses. Pay is $6-10 an hour. Jr. Independencia 120, Miraflores, Lima. Tel: 2241744 or 998365669. or .
  • Miraflores School of English: Run by a British expat in Miraflores. Malecon Cisneros 1356, Oficina 901. 999597891, 2641835, . Ask for Julian Walters.
  • New Horizons English Learning Center: Their target market is business people. Av. Santa Cruz 870, Miraflores. Tel: 620-5900. . Ask for Ed Miller – Academic Director.
  • PARI Cooperation. Run by an Iranian expat. Pay starts at $6 an hour. Canaval y Moreyra 350, 4th Floor, San Isidro. Tel: 441-4817. or . Ask for Reza.
  • Summit Education run by an American, teaches young professionals and executives and mostly -off-site courses. Work is part time and pay is $8-11 an hour. Telephone 997-444-544 or 705-9721. Email Ask for Mike.
  • World Communications. Run by a Peruvian, they need people to teach off site courses. San Isidro. Pay starts at $8 an hour. Tel: 2214494, 2213912, 995659540. or Ask for Charo Sifuentes.
  • L and B Language School:, The only expat run institute in Talara. They also send teachers to nearby schools. If you're looking for a year-long summer Talara's the place for you. Ask for Brandon Reece.
  • El Cultural: You'll find expats who have been working here for years.
  • El Arte Sano: Set up by a Dutch woman this is a new school which started in mid 2008. It's well organised and they have very good pay for the area. Contact Elise at


Thursday 23 October 2008

The TEFL Market in Peru

Updated 22 February 2012

Peru is an up-and-coming TEFL destination for many teachers. If you don't have a background in teaching, getting your TEFL cert will help you. Your TEFL trainers will be able to give you tips about teaching in Peru and your course may also include a bit of basic Spanish to help you get around. Cusco has a more American-European feel that the rest of Peru. You will see many signs in English and lots of the locals speak English as well. Many foreigners head towards Arequipa, Lima, Piura, and Trujillo.

A good way to start making connections is through Expat Peru and Living in Peru. In addition to bringing expats and Peruvians together, both of these sites have a classified section where you can search for jobs or place an advert for free. Make sure you have a good CV by reading how to write a teaching CV. Most people get hired within one or two weeks upon arrival.

Although some places occasionally hire without meeting people in person, I think it's beneficial if you meet your employers first. You can see what the institute is actually like and get to talk to some of the current teachers. You can also ask about visas. Most institutes won't get you a visa and language institutes will usually classify you as a "volunteer" and will give you a "stipend" for your work. Most TEFL positions in language institutes pay about $500 to $700 a month. If you have qualified teacher status and two years experience you can teach at international schools.

You can read more about teaching English in Peru in top institutes in Lima, the ultimate guide to teaching in Peru, best institutes in Peru, FAQ Peru, and the Ultimate Peru List . You can also find lists of schools and institutes in Peru in the LA job list.


Wednesday 22 October 2008

12 Tips for Cheap Flights to Latin America

Updated 21 February 2012
  1. Track airfare through sites like Yapta and Airfare Watchdog.
  2. Use air miles. Many airlines are part of the same programme such as Star Alliance or One World.
  3. Look at airlines that specialise in flights to Latin America.
  4. Book in advance or very last minute.
  5. Stay over a Saturday night.
  6. Buy your ticket on between Wednesday afternoon and Thursday afternoon.
  7. Travel on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, or Saturday.
  8. Ask about promotions.
  9. Try a variety of travel dates.
  10. Use Low Cost Carriers (LCC).
  11. Fly during the off-season.
  12. Check Farecompare for more tips and tricks.
Other Tips for Low Fares
Search engines like Kayak, Air Treks, Air Deals, Side Step, Just the Flight, Opodo, Airbrokers, and BT Store are good. Farecompare has a airfare history chart. Look at layover times and the number of connections. Sometimes it's worth paying more if it means less waiting time and fewer flights. Check to see whether taxes are included and what their refund policy is.

Low Cost Carriers / Budget Airlines
LCC means basic. You can find some great deals, but you often have to pay for extras, such as meals, blankets, pillows, checked luggage, choosing your seat, etc. They often have stricter baggage allowances, nonetheless LCCs are great for saving money.
Latin American Specialists
Avianca, Intra Tours, Exito Travel, Fly Latin America, LAN, Delgado Travel USA, Trafico Peru, and Peru Explorer specialise in flights to Latin America. If you're coming from the UK, try Cheap Flights UK. If you're flying from the US, try Airfare Watchdog.


Friday 10 October 2008

Budgeting Tips for Teachers Abroad

Updated 12 February 2013  

Things That Your Employer Might Provide
The Middle East offers the best teaching packages with higher salaries and a lot more perks and benefits than the ones you'll find below. What's the best country to teach in? has more information.
  • Pre-Paid flight
  • Furnished housing
  • Meals at the school
  • Settling-in allowance
  • Settling-in loan
  • Transportation allowance
  • Medical / health insurance
  • Contract completion bonus
Your Start-up Budget
Costs vary depending on where you go and who you will be working for. Some countries prefer to hire teachers who are already in the country, such as Taiwan and Japan. In that case you'll need more money to survive until you find a job and get paid.
    • Flight: Around $1000, depending on where you're going.
    • Housing: Don't forget that many places are completely unfurnished. Some places require the first and last months' rent, key money (a deposit), or real estate agent fees. In Korea you pay key money and the first month's rent. Key money varies widely. The more key money you put down, the lower your rent. If you put enough down (usually $80,000 and up) you live there rent free for two years. Think of budgeting about $400 to $800 dollars for rent. In China you'll probably have to the pay first and last months' rent, plus the realtor fee. Rent is around $250-$500 a month. In Japan key money is more like a bribe that you pay to the apartment manager and realtor. This fees varies between 2-5 times as much as 1 month's rent. Rent can be from $500 to $700 a month.
    • Meals are often cheap if you eat the local food. You can also eat cheaply if you cook your own food.
    • Transportation: Often if you buy a bus / subway pass, you can get a bit of a discount on the local transport.
    • Travel: Be sure to budget enough for all the flights, transport, and meals. Checking out make money to travel for more ideas.

    • First month: You probably won't get paid until you work for an entire month so bring enough money to live on.

    Saving for the Future

    Are you ready for the future? Budgeting in the Fun Stuff has a quick test for you to take. Getting rid of debt, spending less than you make, getting insurance, and setting aside money will help you. Some people are able to build a nice nest egg while teaching overseas, especially those in the Middle East, parts of Asia, or international schools.

    The best advice is to diversify. There are lots of ways to save: CDs, ETFs, mutual funds, index funds, Roth IRAs, traditional IRAs, stocks, bonds, high interest savings accounts, property, and the list goes on. Check out eToro, Vanguard, Etrade, ScotTrade, and Fidelty. 20 Something Finance, Money-Zine's Index funds, and Smart Passive Income's free ebook are good places to start.

    Creating a Budget
    Think about all your expenses: rent, food, transport, going out, cell phone bills, etc and then allocate how much money you need for each item. Create a savings section on your budget and cut down on unnecessary items, such as coffee or clothes. Try creating a "treat" section on your budget where all the extras like shopping or nights out fall can go. Go for quality not quantity. Instead of buying a $3 every day buy new shoes for $50 once a month.

    Look over your budget and see where you can cut back. Try bringing your lunch three times a week? You can then put that money into your savings account, towards your retirement, credit cards, or paying for a large purchase like a car. If you can save $15 a week that's $780 a year. Creating a budget is the easy part but sticking to it is the hard part. When you go out only take the money you need.

    One thing that's helpful is separating your money. Use envelopes: one for rent, another for bills, such as water, phone, etc. Paying with cash is probably the best thing to do. Although it's hard at first it gets easier and you'll find you have money left over at the end of the month. For more ideas check out 10,001 ways to live large on a small budget and budgeting tips from self-made millionaires.

    Also published in . . .
    This article has also been published in the ELT Times.


    Thursday 9 October 2008

    Teaching Writing to ESL and EFL Students

    Updated 18 February 2012

    You might also be interested in
    Basic Tips
    • Teach the writing process: (pre-writing, writing, editing, and proof-reading). Start with pre-writing, so that students can get their ideas down on paper. Graphic organisers, outlines, notes, brainstorming, and lists are some ways.
    • In class: Allow plenty of time for the students to practise.
    • Daily: Short writing assignments, such as diaries, free writing or poems don’t take up much time.
    • It's the little things: Pay attention to vocabulary, structure, spelling and punctuation.
    • Variety: Try to teach different things such as descriptive, persuasive, information, narrative, or creative writing. Things like writing an essay, letters, articles, description, reference letter, review, story, persuasive essay, guidebook entry, informative essay, email, job application, compare/contrast, notes, opinion, phone messages, or leaflets are also possible.
    • Involve your students: Make it personal and make sure there’s a real life reason for writing. Keep the age, level, and reason for learning English in mind.
    • Use comics. Erase the words, photocopy the blank comics and have students fill them in.
    • Read: Don’t forget to have students read, it'll help them with their writing.
    • Organise your lessons. Make a binder with worksheets and students’ work.
    • Portfolios: Have the students create a writing portfolio.
    • Music: Try playing music while students are writing.
    • Make a question rule: Tell your students that before asking you for help first they have to ask two other students to help them.
    • Organise the classroom: Dictionaries, thesauruses, grammar books, and other reference books are great for writing.
    • Go online: Tell students about online resources such as Purdue's OWL. Some good websites for teaching writing are Outta Ray's Head Writing Lessons, Scholastic, and Teaching Ideas.You can also find good lesson plans online.
    • Examples: Look at good and bad examples so that they know the difference and can see what they should and shouldn’t do.
    • Feedback: Don’t forget to give feedback in the form of a class discussion, group correction, a meeting with the student, or written feedback.

    Ways to Correct Writing
    Many teachers dread correcting writing. It takes a long time, students don't really look at your corrections, and worst of all you're not getting paid for the extra time. Try drawing their attention to their mistakes and have them fix them. This saves you time and students will learn more.
    • Focus on one area: Only correct one part: organisation, register/style, grammar, vocabulary, spelling/punctuation, etc.
    • Use rubrics. They make grading much easier and help students know what they did well and what they need to improve.
    • Use correction codes: For example "gr" means grammar, sp means spelling. Have the students correct their mistakes.
    • Don't correct anything: Instead make general comments at the end. Tell them what their strengths and weaknesses are.
    • Highlight mistakes: Then have the students correct them.

    General Test Taking Tips
    • Read and follow instructions. It only takes a minute or two and can save you a lot of time.
    • Forget cramming. It wouldn't work. If you don't know the information a couple of days before the test, you simply don't know it. You should study a little every day. Don't try to learn everything the night before.
    • Eat breakfast. It's the most important meal of the day and is necessary to help you think.
    • Bring your materials. Have your pencils, erasers, watch, and ID ready the night before.
    • Go early. Make sure you leave your house ahead of time so that you get to the class a few minutes before the test begins.
    • Pace yourself. Don't work too slowly or too quickly. If you finish early go back and check your answers.
    • Check your answers. Make sure you haven't made any simple mistakes.
    • Don't panic. It's just a test. The worst you can do is fail.

    Specific Test Taking Tips for Writing
    • Keep to the word limit: Let your students know that they shouldn't waste their time counting every single word. They should count how many words are on one line then multiple it by the number of lines they've written.
    • Answer all the questions: There are usually a few questions that need to be answered in each writing task. Make sure you answer all of them and allocate enough words for each section.
    • Make an outline: Time is limited for writing exams, but that doesn't mean that you shouldn't take the time to plan. Creating a basic plan or outline is necessary for you to organise your ideas.
    • Write legibly: Your handwriting doesn't have to be perfect but the teacher needs to be able to read it.
    • Proof-read and edit: You should always re-read what you have written and fix the mistakes. If there are no mistakes see if you can make some simple changes to make your paper better.


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