Learning Spanish While Teaching English in Costa Rica
Teaching English, Learning Spanish and having fun; these were the themes of my recent trip to Costa Rica. I teach English to Spanish-speaking children and adults, and they teach me a little bit of Spanish along the way. I took Basic Spanish in high school,but there is always more to learn, though, and my students teach me something new every day.
This is my third trip to Costa Rica on a temporary teaching job. I heard about this job from a friend who knows that I like to travel. I had just graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work and my goal was to learn more about the world while I earned a living. My friend lives in Costa Rica, and he sells real estate in and around the Los Sueños Resort and Marina; he suggested that I look into teaching jobs in the area as the town of Jaco Beach, and surrounding areas, is fast becoming one of the hottest vacation destinations in Latin America so the need for English speaking employees is high.
I am a natural teacher. I have fun talking to groups of people and they seem to be able to connect with me while I am teaching and retain a lot of the information I share. I don’t have a teaching degree, though, and I was a little worried that that might stand in the way.
I began doing some research and found that a lot of companies only require a short, one month, TEFL course. TEFL stands for Teaching English as a Foreign Language. I found that a certificate from this course along with a Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college in any subject was all that was needed to be hired as an English teacher in Costa Rica. I was so excited! Three months in a foreign country teaching and getting paid to be there was, and still is, a dream come true!
I was hired at a company that wanted me to teach English to their employees so that they could brush up on their skills. Many of them had, just like me, taken a course before in high school, but they were getting rusty as time passed and they weren’t speaking it as their primary language. The company’s main market is the United States and Canada, and they needed their customer representatives to speak more fluent English.
This past trip, as I mentioned earlier, was my third trip to Costa Rica. Each time I go, I stay with my friend at the Los Sueños Resort and Marina. I absolutely love his two-bedroom condo. HRG Properties and Rentals, the realty company he bought his condo through, does a remarkable job of keeping up with any maintenance that may be required, and when my friend is not in the country they take care of marketing and renting it out for him. When I stay with him, I get my own bedroom and bathroom, and a view of the ocean, resort grounds, and golf course outside. It’s just incredible. I feel so lucky.
My friend has taken me on every adventure tour that HRG offers; and there are quite a few. From jet-skiing and waterfall rappelling to crocodile tours and high in the trees, canopy tours and so much more; we always have fun.
I am already looking for my next teaching job. I’m thinking that I may try to find one that is more permanent this time. I hope one day I can buy my own condo from HRG and live in this beautiful place full-time!