Guinea is an intriguing blend of French and African influences. Although French is the official language, there are still opportunities to teach English, and teachers proficient in French can easily pursue positions requiring instruction in French.
Teachers will learn how to adapt to and make the best of a teaching environment in which resources are limited. In their spare time teachers also have the opportunity to discover the remarkable Guinean landscape and experience Guinea’s rich tradition of music and dance.Photo credit: slosada
Private Language Academies/Schools:
Teach at institutes where the sole objective of students is to learn English from a native English speaker. At these institutes you normally teach 5 classes a day for 45-50 minutes, 5 days a week. TEFL typically places volunteers in such institutes.
International schools often offer higher salaries but require teachers to have more credentials. Examples include the American International School of Conakry, where all students study French, located in Guinea’s capital city, and The English Speaking Community School of Guinea.
When and Where to Look for Jobs:
Most jobs are found in the capital city of Conakry, which is the economic and cultural hub of Guinea. Because there is always a demand for teachers, there is not a particular peak hiring time teachers must watch for.
Most schools only require previous experience, a degree, or a TEFL certificate. International schools in particular normally require 2+ years of teaching or TEFL certification. It is also helpful to know some French as French is the official language of Guinea and widely used in schools.
Salary & Cost of Living:
Depending on teachers’ education levels and positions, they may be making anywhere from $500 to $2000+ a month. Unless you are teaching through a specific program that situates your housing, you may have to find housing on your own. Rent is typically around $730 per month for a one-bedroom apartment (of Western standards) in the city center and $250 for similar housing outside the center (Numbeo). Fortunately, the cost of living in Guinea is very low, and teachers can look into setting up a homestay with a host family.
Classroom & Work Culture:
- Student/Teacher Relations: Teachers in Guinea will need to be more tolerant of tardiness as it is not rude to be late in most situations. This is especially true in the rural areas if Guinea.
- Dress Code: Business attire usually involves some sort of business suit, though typically not a high-class suit, that consists of a coat and slacks. Women are expected to dress more conservatively and should not wear clothing that is tight fitting or revealing.
- Greetings: Handshakes are a common form of greeting, and communication styles will vary depending on tribe and ethnicity.
- Etiquette: In general, anything that may be construed as sexually explicit, such as showing too much skin or kissing in public, should be avoided (Cultural Crossing).