“Teaching English in Spain, South Korea, Brazil” written by – Lois Pearo

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Attended: EBC Madrid, Spain in August 2007

Course choice: Found on the internet


Travelling EBC teacher Lois Pearo

Travelling EBC teacher Lois Pearo

My name is Lois. I am now 41 years old. That’s me on the far left of the top picture. I was born in Brasília, Brasil. I have my B.A. in Speech Communications and my M.A. in Counseling. I then received my Licensure in Counseling.

Before becoming licensed as a professional counselor, I left my job as a Student Support Counselor at Mercyhurst University, the North East Campus, in August of 2007, to travel to Madrid, Spain for the EBC International TEFL Certification course. It was an intensive one-month training course. I met very kind and intelligent people who were globally-minded like myself. Students and teachers who love to teach, travel, and learn about other cultures and languages. My class was diverse and my favorite thing about it, was the diversity, interesting people, and group projects. My group staged a play about boarding an airplane while teaching new vocabulary and parts of speech to the class. Our group presentation was not only educational, but very fun and entertaining.

Teaching English in Spain - Me, María José and Casimiro in Salamanca

Teaching English in Spain – Me, María José and Casimiro in Salamanca

Since graduating from EBC, I have taught as a Certified EFL Teacher in Salamanca, Spain, New York City, Hanam City, South Korea, and in the city of my birth, Brasília, Brasil.

I believe that all teachers should be certified before teaching abroad. The EBC course teaches you how to incorporate vocabulary with parts of speech into each lesson, while being aware of the age and culture you are engaging in the classroom or one-on-one.

I became interested in becoming certified and teaching abroad because, as I previously mentioned, I am globally-minded. Learning about other cultures, places, languages is an important part of my life. The same with all the students in my training program. Some North Americans are content to be born in one area of the world and never to venture forth to learn about other areas of the world. I and the other EFL Teachers are not one of these types of people. We have an ongoing quest for knowledge, personal and professional expansion, always learning, growing, and experiencing new things and ideas.

Teaching English in South Korea - Two of my English students and me

Teaching English in South Korea – Two of my English students and me

Leaving home, a familiar town, friends, family, is daunting. It is a great risk. I admit, teaching in Salamanca  was a struggle for me personally and financially. But teaching and living in South Korea was more secure. I worked for the South Korean government and was provided with a very small flat, health insurance, and consistent pay each month. I set up a South Korean bank account and received direct deposit from the high school I worked with, Shinjang High. This stability allowed me the freedom to experience South Korean culture, food, and people. I love some of the fresh foods from South Korea and made life-long friends during my one-year stay there. We keep in touch to this day.

Some of the high school students in Hanam City were a challenge because learning English was mandatory for them. So instead of making it a power struggle, I came to their level, offered mutual respect and good-will, and tried to make learning English a more fun experience for them.

My students in Salamanca, Spain were much more motivated because they were coming to class voluntarily and paying out-of-pocket. I loved the variety of classes, the diversity, and the small class size in Salamanca.

In South Korea, my classes were 45 students to a class, three to four classes four days a week. This was quite the challenge and exhausting. But the school gave me wonderful resources, a big classroom, a reading area, a giant screen with my own computer and power point hookup. Plus, I was upstairs with big windows and a great view of the mountains.

Teaching English in Spain - Traditional Jamón Serrano

Teaching English in Spain – Traditional Jamón Serrano

In Salamanca, I had small classrooms and no view. The Spain-South Korea experiences were polar opposites in so many ways.

Back to my experience in South Korea. The school year was quite the challenge, but I did receive a paid vacation in which I was able to holiday on Jeju Island, SK. This was an amazing experience. My South Korean friend and I, took one full day to bike up and down the coast. I met women divers, ate incredible seafood soup, and biked back to our lodging against the wind, along the coast, and felt as if I lost ten pounds in that one day.

Also in South Korea, when the summer time arrived, I got paid to come to school, work at my downstairs desk and computer, then teach a very small class of girls who volunteered to take my summer English class. This was amazing. I was paid the same, but had a small class of motivated, young female students. I brought food every day to class, they chose topics they wanted to learn and study, and each class was relaxed and great fun, with a lot of learning going on. This was ideal.

Teaching English in Spain - Some of my favorite students

Teaching English in Spain – Some of my favorite students

After teaching in Spain, NYC, South Korea, I went to Brasil for a short time to teach. My students there were extremely kind, loving, caring, and motivated, not to mention great fun. The students in Brasília had an amazing sense of humor. We learned and the curriculum there was very strict, but we laughed and laughed together. But I was not able to survive on the low pay I received in Brasília. I was preparing for classes, grading papers and essays, teaching, with no time off for low-pay, and living in a tiny tiny flat. Seriously, I had to move side-ways to get around this flat. Hence, the students in Brasília were extremely kind, intelligent, and very fun, but the pay and living conditions were not enough for me and sadly, I had to walk away from this position.

Since returning to the States, I have earned my licensure in counseling. But I have not found a full-time position with the economy as it is here with my new label as a Licensed Professional Counselor (L.P.C.). Many times, I wish to return to teaching EFL and traveling to other places. If I do this again, I want to make sure that I will earn enough, with nice lodging, insurance, and perhaps incorporating my counseling into the teaching career.

Jim Ross of EBC has kept in touch with me, always showing kindness and assistance. Getting a certification with EBC is a life-long connection. This is one of the best things about it.

Thank you very much.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions.


Loving hugs,

~ Lois

Trinity CertTESOL

Trinity CertTESOL Madrid Spain

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Great course! You'll work very hard (it's very intensive) but definitely worth it. I totally recommend it.
Sol Montaser
09:00 27 Jul 18
The class was very good. The instructor John is friendly and very thorough with his classes. William, in the front office, is a joy and is very helpful with all of my course needs. Tita, is very nice and was helpful in explaining different options for working and staying in Madrid.
Jaime Tully
08:59 27 Jul 18
John is a good teacher and he puts efforts inorder to understand your requirements. He teaches you in the right ways, like how to present the language in a simple way, how to keep the motivation on, etc.It´s a intensive course but it´s really worth !!Willam is a good administrator. Thanks for all the help and support. 🙂
Tanya Bhagat
11:41 18 May 18
The course is very intensive but IT IS REALY WORTH! If you are looking for a course that teaches you how to become an English teacher, well this is the best one. You really get the better skills for teaching English at all levels with a clear knowledge about what you are doing. The staff of the course is really nice and helpful. He is a really nice person who helps you whatever you need.Teachers here at really good and they really know how to train you as a English teacher very well.
Dro !
11:24 18 May 18
I am very pleased with my experience at EBC Madrid. Professor John was an amazing mentor that really prepared my classmates and I to teach English. I feel confident going into the job market and finding a teaching job.
Elizabeth Wohlford
15:28 08 Mar 18
EBC Madrid had equipped me with the necessary knowledge and skills I need to be better in teaching. William is so nice and is very accommodating to us students. And, John is the best teacher who can simplify and make the students understand even the most complicated grammatical concept. Kudos!
Anne Marnelli
14:42 08 Mar 18
The course is very intensive but it helps a lot to bring out the best in me. John is an amazing teacher and he is very professional. I'm very thankful for all the guidance and help that I received from EBC. I highly recommend it.
Roxanne A.
14:42 08 Mar 18
The course is really useful. It makes you equipped with the right knowledge, training and attitude. Things you need to have that confidence to go out and face the world as an English teacher. Highly recommended!
Pedi Dela Cruz
14:25 08 Mar 18
This is a great place to get your TEFL certification. The staff is kind, organized and very helpful. It was such a comfortable learning environment that I enjoyed very much. I liked the personalized attention and I got a lot more confidence and experience to be an English teacher. Thanks for everything!
Victoria Metz
10:35 02 Feb 18
I found the instruction throughout the course to be very effective and I finished the course feeling excited and prepared to begin teaching. There is nothing fancy about the EBC facility, however this doesn't in any way reduce the overall quality of the course. John, the instructor, has extensive experience (both as an TEFL teacher and a TEFL course trainer), which is evident in the thoughtful organization of the course. My class had only five students, which created lots of time for personal attention and advice. Make sure you come prepared to work hard!
Adam Schreiber
12:06 14 Dec 17
It was a great and intensive course! I learned and enjoyed this whole learning how to teach experience. Thank you very much for your time and knowledge. I feel well-prepared now. EBC Madrid, 2017.
Michele Buitron
11:57 14 Dec 17
I've just finished my EBC TEFL course. It was a great experience. I definitely recommend this course. John is an amazing teacher and he is very professional. It was just a pleasure. Thank you so much and good luck!
Natalia Egorova
15:04 10 Nov 17
The course has been really useful and the teacher, John, made the classes so much fun and very interesting. It is has been a great experience and has helped me realise how much I really enjoy teaching. It has also been a bit intense at times but I would recommend this course to anyone who would like to become an English teacher.
Natasha Jimenez
20:17 05 Oct 17
Class of August 2017.It's been a busy stressful 4 weeks but I am happy the group and I have all made it and we have TEFL certificates to show for all our hard-work and sleepless nights. Much thanks to our trainer John for his patience and ability to find solutions and guidance to help you find your way and energy throughout the course. EBC international is the best place to learn and share your knowledge of teaching. And for people like me who has no idea how to teach things like grammar and also to learn the grammar...this is the place to be!
Ashley Kabanda
11:14 31 Aug 17

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