My new career teaching English in Portugal

My new career teaching English in Portugal

After 20 years of office life in the Algarve, Global English TESOL graduate Gail Canhoto has taken the plunge, starting a new career teaching English. Having begun in-class, she is about to start teaching English online, and is thoroughly enjoying her new profession.  We asked Gail more about her journey.


You live in Portugal, Gail, what have you been doing until now?
I've been living in the Algarve for the last 20 years and have had quite a few office jobs, most recently for a villa rentals company in Vilamoura, organising peoples' villa holidays for them.

I had the desire to teach English while I was still living in England but the timing was not quite right as I had a young baby to look after. I finally decided to take the TESOL 250-hour course online with Global English in 2013 and really enjoyed it. It gave me a good grounding in the subject.

Can you tell us about how you got your first teaching role?
It was only last year when I turned 50, that I felt it was now or never - it was time to change my career and pursue teaching. I saw an advert in the local English-language paper for a part-time English teaching position in a nearby language school, Faust. I definitely felt that it was a sign that it was time to take the plunge and give teaching a go.

Which courses have you taken with Global English and what has been most helpful?
The main TESOL course was extremely useful. Then moved on to a grammar course which helped me to brush up on my grammar. More recently I have really enjoyed the short courses, Teaching English Online, Teaching Business English, Teaching with Zoom, Teaching Beginners, and attended the free seminars which all helped me so much to gain more knowledge of teaching. The most recent course I attended was the 5-star English Teacher course. This is a great course and Louisa was brilliant as I learnt so much that helped me feel confident to walk into the classroom and teach for the first time.

Great. So, what are your next steps?
I have just been accepted for an online teaching job with Open English, teaching children based in Brazil. This is an exciting move for me and a challenge to put into practice what I have learned about Zoom and online teaching.

I also love interacting with my students in the classroom and encouraging them to learn the language. Many of them are adults, some have tried to learn English previously and for whatever reason, did not succeed. It's very rewarding to see their progress. 

My ultimate goal is to teach Business English to local businesses in the area. 

What would you say to anyone else in a similar position who may be thinking about a career teaching English?
It's never too late to change your career and pursue what you really want to do. Don't be afraid of the technology involved with online teaching. If you're determined enough you will succeed. 

Thank you, Gail. It was a pleasure to have you train with us and to hear how much you are enjoying your new TESOL career. We wish you every success.

Ready to make a change to English teaching this year?  
Choose your perfect TESOL course >>

  • Author: William Bradridge
  • Date: Tuesday 4th January 2022


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My new career teaching English in Portugal