Published: 22 January, 2015  |  Last updated: 22 January, 2015

Teaching English in Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon, Portugal


Report submitted on 22 January, 2015 by Annie James.

Teaching English in Lisbon, Portugal:

How can teachers find teaching jobs in Lisbon, Portugal?
On-line job sites, local papers, TEFL sites.

The main English teaching jobs available are:
Part time English language school positions, teaching at kindergartens / pre-schools, teaching at private international schools, private teaching (not through a school, agency, etc.).

What are the minimum teaching requirements?
CELTA, however there is also a Portuguese qualification -CPP- which is needed to teach in state schools.

What teaching requirements would you recommend?
CELTA and experience and good references. It helps to speak some Portuguese as the interviewer may not speak English.

What are the levels of payment?
Terrible! Between 10€ and 25€ per hour. I work for two schools. One pays 21€ per hour. The other school pays 15€.

How many teaching days a week is normal?
4.5 days per week.

How many face-to-face teaching hours a week is normal?
20 hours per week.

What is the normal arrangement for holidays?
This depends if you are self -employed or have a 9 month or 12 month contract, and whether or not either of those are full or part-time. Most teachers work in Summer Schools in July and August.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Lisbon, Portugal to teach English?
Expect low pay and lots of ridiculous paper work.

What are the positive aspects of teaching English in Lisbon, Portugal?
I teach 3-5 year olds in a church school. The staff are super-supportive and kind and the kids are great.

What are the negative aspects for teaching English in Lisbon, Portugal?
Too many bits of paper. I have to fill in three separate forms after each class for the other school I work for.

What are some of the teaching challenges for English teachers teaching the local people in your area?
A lack of good organization in most places.

Living in Lisbon, Portugal:

Are there any visa or other legal requirements to live in Portugal?
You need a Residence card and a fiscal (tax) number.

What is the cost of living like in Portugal?
You can live off 800€ per month if you have a cheap place to live.

What are the usual accommodation arrangements and how can you find accommodation?
Most people in Portugal live in apartments.

Other than teaching, what positive aspects are there for living in Lisbon, Portugal?
Sun sea and beach every day!

Other than teaching, what negative aspects are there for living in Lisbon, Portugal?
A lack of good organization in most places.

What advice would you give to someone considering coming to Lisbon, Portugal?
Have patience. The Portuguese are lovely people but a silly amount of bureaucracy.

What things do you miss most (other than family and friends) from your home country?
A high level of professionalism.

What do you think you will miss most when (or if) you leave Lisbon, Portugal?
Sun sea and beach every day! And the kids!

Other comments:
I have a child and Portugal is a fabulous place to raise kids.


About Me and My Work:

My Name: Annie James

Nationality: British

Students I’ve taught in Portugal: Toddlers (2-4 years), pre-school / kindergarten (4-6 years), elementary (6-12 years), junior high school (12-15 years), high school (15-18 years), adults, business

Where I teach: Two schools in the Lisbon area. Working here for 8 years.

How I found my current jobs: For one job I was doing a Young Learners course and was offered work. For the other place, I put on a suit, printed lots of CVs and went to every language school in the area and presented myself. It paid off.

My school facilities: Excellent – Despite the often chaotic manner in Portugal Business in general, my current schools are fantastic to work for.

Teacher support at my school: Training / workshops, lesson observations, teacher evaluations, peer support / training.


Do you teach English in Portugal?

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