Teaching English in Uruguay

By David Hammond
Gerardo Valazza
Teaching English in Uruguay can lead to an interesting career for both Uruguayans and expats.

Back in 1989, Gerardo Valazza was a college student studying engineering. He started teaching English on the side through the Anglo Cultural Institute in Montevideo, Uruguay to earn some money.
“However, I became more involved with teaching English. I ended up leaving engineering for an English teaching career,” says Gerardo.
After teaching for a while, Gerardo accepted a faculty position. Over the years, he's advanced within the Anglo to become one of  three Director Generals, as well as the manager for the Cambridge English Language Assessments.

About the Anglo

The English diplomat, Sir Eugen John Henry Vanderstegen Millington-Drake, started the Montevideo Anglo in 1934 to provide English-language classes and British cultural activities. 

Today, the Anglo is a self-supporting nonprofit organization with several business activities. 

The Anglo’s Business activities:

The Anglo School 

One of the Anglo’s operations is the Anglo School. It opened in 2001 to provide bilingual primary and secondary education in the Montevideo community of Carrasco.

Including teachers and staff, the Anglo School employees more than 150. 

Anglo Institutes and Anglo Centers 

You’ll find four dozen Anglo Institutes and Anglo Centers offering English language lessons in towns across Uruguay. 

Most of the Anglo Institutes and Centers are independently owned franchises. In exchange for a franchise fee, the Anglo licenses the use of the "Anglo" name and provides course materials, teacher training, and assessments.

Consulting for private schools not associated with the Anglo

“The Anglo also provides consulting services for private schools not associated with the Anglo, helping set up English programs and assessments,” says Gerardo. 

Department of  Business English 

Another division of the Anglo provides on-site English-language training for companies. This includes English-language specialties such as legal English, financial English, medical English, and English for tourism. 

Administering the Cambridge English Assessment 

The Anglo is authorized to administer the Cambridge English Language Assessment. “We give 15,000 Cambridge English assessments per year. That’s about one English assessment for every 210 Uruguayans—every year,” says Gerardo. 

While other assessments and certificates are available, most candidates want the Cambridge Assessment because of its wide recognition. “It’s a brand known all over the world. International companies and international organizations recognize and trust it. It opens doors,” says Gerardo. 

Teacher training

The Anglo also offers various levels of teacher education, which includes an assessment of a teacher’s classroom performance. 

Getting started as an English teacher in Uruguay

When you’re a teacher just starting out, it's typical to work at more than one school, as well as do a little teaching on the side while building up your reputation. 

“An English teacher typically gets paid by the group. An experienced, popular, and ambitious teacher may handle 8 to 10 groups,” says Gerardo. 

Editor’s note: In addition to the Anglo, you'll find several other English language schools in Uruguay, which include: 

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