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Teaching English in Angola

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Angola Flag

Angola is a poor country in southern Africa. After independence from Portugal‏‎ in 1975 it entered a civil war which lasted several decades and cost millions of lives and refugees. The war officially ended in 2002 and since then the country is seen as developing fast and growing financially and culturally.

It has a population of roughly 18.5 million with the capital Luanda at about 2.7 million. Although Portuguese is the national language, there are 6 recognized national languages mostly divided amongst various ethnic groups in the country.

Training adults in English is a priority in Angola (as in many other African countries where the lingua franca‏‎ is Portuguese or French). On the other hand, English learning is certainly an expensive endeavor for Angolans as English teaching materials are strongly protected by copyright and consequently hard to buy on a mass scale.

Teaching Conditions in Angola

The majority of the population of Angola is extremely poor and whilst things are slowly returning to some semblance of normality since the ceasefire in 1994, things still have some way to go. Living conditions for teachers are simple and basic and there is a great demand for experienced teachers, especially in the more rural and remote areas where a school can be just the shade under a tree. Depending on the location, electricity is intermittent so lesson preparation should bear this in mind. Crime is also a problem and many foreigners live in specially guarded compounds.

Payment & Teaching Opportunities in Angola

Pay is usually sufficient to support one person. Depending on the school, pay can sometimes be made in local currency with a one off payment made into a foreign account in another currency.

Demand for highly motivated and well educated teachers is extremely high in Angola. Not just English teachers are in demand in this country but also teachers of science, pedagogy and other subjects. For some schools although a degree is preferred, work can be found with just a TEFL Certificate such as the ICAL TEFL Certificate.

There are sometimes also work opportunities at the universities or one of the International Schools such as Luanda International School which occasionally advertises for teachers. For these kinds of jobs a first degree plus experience and specialization and higher degrees are often the norm. In addition, the British Council‏‎ has a presence in Angola (although no offices; it’s a sub-section of their office in Kenya) and works promoting English there.

The easiest way to go about finding work is to contact aid agencies such as UNESCO or missionary societies. Knowledge of Portuguese is useful since few people speak English.

Visas can be acquired in Angola but take up to several months to process.

4 Responses to Teaching English in Angola

  1. daryl s says:

    I think that english should be compulsory in all schools and perticularly when you are looking for work , say in any where in the world . In Canada and the United States you have to be able to speak english in order to find work.

  2. Massie says:

    It’s sad that I speak fluent English but because I do not have the required degree I can’t be considered to assist. I studied English as a first language throughout my high school

    • Pete West says:

      Hi Massie, the fact is that just speaking the language doesn’t make one a teacher. There is more to teaching English than just knowing the language. Getting TEFL certified will not only qualify you to teach English but it will also, and perhaps more importantly, prepare you for the job.

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