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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Additions to the List

John Hall emailed me last week making a pretty good point: although the list of schools appears exhaustive, the school he works at isn't on the list. Then I realized, neither is mine. So, to amend the list of schools, I'd like to add relevant information about the school John works at, ULACIT, as well as my school, Butler Academy.

As quoted from John's email to me, here is information on ULACIT:

ULACIT is usually considered to be the second best private university in Costa Rica. New positions open at the beginning of semesters, in January, May, and September. Only serious teachers need apply. I have never heard of this university hiring anybody illegally. Many of the teachers in the English Department are good teachers from Costa Rica; however, they have added a few teachers from foreign countries recently (like me!) and will probably add more in the future.

The current Director of the English Department is Mr. Jimmy Hernandez ( Due to their incredible workload, most Directors don't last that long; there may be a different one by the time you try to contact the present one.

Other nice things about ULACIT are: small but very attractive campus near El Caribe bus stop in Barrio Tournon, San Jose; benefits include the "thirteenth-month salary" paid out before Christmas, and social security; and finally, the fact that this is a university that really strives for excellence in teaching English. Some of the detractions are: the salary is just okay, not the best; intensive English courses can be pretty intense for teachers; expect up to twenty-five students in a class; and this is not a job which will allow you much time to see the sights around Costa Rica.

Okay, and now the school that Lisa and I work at:

Butler Academy, a relatively new school, has worked hard to find it's niche. It is not like most schools in the area in that we do not teach beginner courses. More specifically, Butler Academy trains/prepares Costa Ricans for the highly lucrative bilingual jobs at Call Centers (including Sykes, IBM, HP, etc.). What makes Butler unique is that it combines intensive English training with job preparation. All of the classes are conversationally based, and the more advanced classes concentrate on highly advanced topics such as accent reduction. Also, we do job interview activities as well as role playing activities that help give the students practice in "Call Center situations."

What I like about the school, besides that it pays comparably very well, is that 1) teachers aren't asked to travel around to business sites (all classes are taught at the Heredia location), 2) because of the advanced level of students, teachers can do more fun conversational activities rather than textbook teaching, 3) the students are, for the most part, highly motivated (they all have hopes of emerging from the programs with well paying jobs), and 4) teachers are encouraged to bring a good deal of creativity to the classroom.

Again, as far as I know, Butler Academy is unique in its focus, but it creates a fun, interesting environment. The school is always looking for new teachers as it is not on the semester program, but rather opens new classes as they are filled by students.

Contact: to apply, send resume and cover letter to Bruce Thomson -