Saturday, 24 July 2010

Interview with Ken Jones at Maximo Nivel

About Maximo Nivel
Ken Jones started Maximo Nivel in Cusco in 2003 and since then they have expanded to Costa Rica, Guatemala, and the US. Teachers are able to work and travel around nearby countries in Latin America.

Many people take TEFL certificate to help them get into TEFL. There are a couple TEFL Training Institutes in Peru. One of them in Maximo Nivel in Cusco. Ken Jones, the owner, has provided The Ultimate Peru List with the following information.

TEFL / TESOL Program
Our program is accredited with the Peruvian Ministry of Education and with Assentis in the UK. This is a 150 hour on-site program with 8+ hours of teaching and observations. Cost is $1600 for the 4 week course; plus housing and books. We are partnered with the following organizations for TEFL/TESOL: Bridge Linguatec, INTESOL, TEFL Institute, ITTO, EBC, and Global Crossroad. We also have two other options.

  1. A hybrid TEFL/TESOL Program, which is 2-4 weeks of self-study followed by 2 weeks on-site. 
  2. An online / distance learning TEFL Program, which is done via Skype and (unlike other online programs) includes 6 hours of practical teaching via Skype—these are 1-on-1 lessons with Peruvians and Guatemalans.

ESL Teaching
Our teachers must be TEFL / TESOL or CELTA certified via a course of at least 100 hours and which included a practical teaching component. Minimum contract is 6 months. Teachers must be native English speakers. There are a limited number of positions where TEFL/TESOL certified non-native English speakers can work as tutors. We generally hire 5-6 teachers per month. With respect to our contracts, we do not have a non-competition clause. There are various bits of mis-information on Dave’s.

We do not pay teachers hourly—they receive a fixed monthly salary. In Peru the salary is $450 - $600; in Costa Rica the salary is $690 - $800; and in Guatemala the salary is $450 - $600. Teachers teach six (6) 1-hour classes/day. Teachers can earn more if they choose to teach a 7th or 8th class, though this never required.

Our ESL program in Peru has 1200 learners and a staff of 20 teachers; our ESL program in Costa Rica is 150 learners and a staff of 6 teachers; our ESL program in Guatemala will begin in January 2011. Class size is strictly limited in Peru to 12 learners; in Costa Rica to 8 learners; and in Guatemala to 12 learners. We have a full in-house developed teachers’ guide and curriculum, books, and all quizzes and exams are standardized by the institute. We have a 2 hour in-house teacher training each month.

In Peru, we have a large Teachers’ Lounge with dedicated computers, Internet and WiFi, satellite TV, lock-able cubbies, 2 refrigerators, bottled water, and teachers-only bathroom. In Costa Rica, we have a small Teachers’ Lounge with dedicated computers, Internet and WiFi and lock-able cubbies. In Guatemala, we have a small Teachers’ Lounge with dedicated computers, Internet and WiFi, cable TV, lock-able cubbies, refrigerator, and bottled water.

Volunteering
We offer volunteer and internship projects in all 3 countries. These last for as little as 1 week and as long as 1 year. Most people are with us for 2-4 weeks, and the average stay is 3.3 weeks. We are partnered with the following organizations: IVHQ, Global Crossroad, IFRE, RCDP, Bridge Volunteers, GVN, and Rustic Volunteer & Travel. We offer projects in the following areas:
  • Orphanage / Childcare
  • Medical / Healthcare
  • Conservation
  • Construction
  • Teaching English

Native Spanish Program
Our Native Spanish Program is accredited by the Ministries of Education in both Peru and Guatemala. As well, Brookhaven College in the U.S. and Universidad Rural in Guatemala provide university credit for our Spanish program. We are partnered with the following organizations: Tucan Travel, LanguageCourse.Net, and 121 Speech.

Classes are offered in small group (max 6 people) and 1-on-1. Teachers are all native Spanish speakers and are certified in teaching Spanish as a second language OR hold a Bachelors or Masters in Education.

We have a program called Adventure & Culture which combines 1-4 weeks of Spanish with various tourism programs that clients do on the weekends—to see the sites in Peru, Costa Rica, and Guatemala. If you're looking to learn Spanish from home, Fluenz Spanish, Rosetta Stone, and Synergy Spanish. consistently get good reviews.


Contact Information

COSTA RICA
Maximo Nivel
Del Antiguo Higueron 100m sur y 50m este
San Pedro Montes de Oca
San Jose
Telephone: +506 2253 9220
Email: info@maximonivel.com

GUATEMALA
Maximo Nivel
6ta Avenida 16-16A
La Antigua
Telephone: +502 7932 1500
Email: info@maximonivel.com

PERU
Maximo Nivel
Avenida El Sol 612-616
Cusco
Telephone: +51 (84) 58 1800
Email: info@maximonivel.com

Other Information
Maximo Nivel is no longer associated with Chris Larsen in Arequipa. Chris has his institute called Extreme Superior English Alliance. He began in Arequipa as a Maximo Nivel franchise. We parted ways amicably in early 2008. Their institutes are no longer related.




The Ultimate Peru List recommends:

2 comments:

  1. Ken, this was a nice summary of things. I have decided to chose your company to get me certified. I will be making arrangements by end of this month to get enrolled in your TEFL course for early 2012. In my weeks/months of due diligence, I have read many reviews about many schools. Your company's pro's have outweighed the con's of reviewers of your school and of those offering a TEFL certificate in the same region. I am looking forward to a great experience with your organization and to a bright and wonderful new career as a teacher in Peru. Perhaps you may be there and I can quiz you on this comment. ;) Thanks for the nice blogspot. Philip.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Actually, it's my blogspot, not Ken's :) I just interviewed him. If you want to contact him, you'll have to do so through his website.

    ReplyDelete

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