The Best English Language Schools in Rio de Janeiro

Classroom | Pixabay
Classroom | Pixabay
Photo of Sarah Brown
22 February 2017

For those that come to Rio and fall in love with the city, teaching English offers a chance to extend your stay and earn some extra income. Many schools don’t ask for teaching qualifications, yet the pay there will be low. Having a TEFL or CELTA certificate under your belt will distinguish you from the competition and garner you higher earnings. Read below for a compilation of the best English schools in Rio.


Since its inception in the 1960s, BRASAS has become one of Brazil’s most established language schools, offering numerous types of courses from intensive English classes to conversational and exam preparation. The students range in age from children up to adults. Tourists and visitors can also take part in the ‘Portuguese for Foreigners’ course at beginner or intermediate level either in a group or as private classes. There are 33 units of BRASAS in Rio de Janeiro and a further 22 schools in other states throughout Brazil.

In the classroom | © Christine June/WikiCommons

Cultura Inglesa

With 75 units in Brazil, Cultura Inglesa is one of the best – yet most expensive – English language schools in the country. It offers a wide diversity of courses including specialist programmes such as finance, administration and tourism, as well as preparation for study at universities abroad. There are also courses specifically for IELTS and TOEFL exams, essential tests for non-native English speakers who want to study or live abroad. The pay and working conditions at Cultura Inglesa are among the best, but potential teachers will need a teaching certificate and the rights to work in Brazil.

Learning English | © G0h4r/WikiCommons

Wise Up

Wise Up promises to teach its students English in just 18 months through an intensive course that is built around conversation and some grammar in class, with additional homework of writing and reading. The average class size is eight to 12 students, allowing individual needs to be met better than they would be in a larger group. The units are dotted all around Brazil and the students range from teenagers up to adults. For teachers, Wise Up offers a fixed schedule and a steady workload that helps to maintain a consistent income.


Britannia has various units throughout Rio de Janeiro and offers a comprehensive list of courses for kids, teenagers and adults. Although the courses vary from conversational to specialist English for finance programmes, each course follows a specific style that mixes methods in the classrooms and is additionally supported by an online portal where students can practise and revise at home. For teachers, Britannia also offers CELTA and DELTA courses that last between four weeks (intensive) to four months (part-time).

Teacher with children | © Ilmicrofono Oggiono/Flickr


Having started with one small unit in Rio de Janeiro in 1961, CCAA now counts over 800 schools throughout Brazil, making it one of the largest language institutes in the country. The school offers classes in English, Spanish and Portuguese for foreigners and students range from as young as three years old up to adults. The different programmes vary depending on learning needs, from individually structured classes to courses for an entire company. They also have a teacher’s course that covers how to instruct under CCAA’s standards; a great option for those that want to teach but are looking for some training and experience before doing so.

Curso Oxford

Curso Oxford is smaller than some of the other competitors with its four units, yet resources are concentrated well here as they give quality instruction that is based mostly around conversation. The classes are also supported by additional interactive boards that link to the school’s online portal for an extra learning dimension. Since 2005, Curso Oxford has worked closely alongside the city council to create a social project that has so far allowed 100 scholarship students to enter the school and learn English. This has given many disadvantaged children an opportunity to advance with their education.

Classroom | Pixabay


Wizard has dozens of units in Rio de Janeiro and across Brazil. Its school has some unique quirks: it is the only school in the country that offers English classes in Braille, and it also teaches a wide range of languages from French, German and Spanish, to more linguistically challenging ones (for those not familiar with Asian languages) such as Japanese and Chinese. The schools come complete with a library and also offer an additional whatsapp service for free that sends English learning tips daily to students’ phones.

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