logoEWEnglishWorks is an innovative English language learning program based in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was launched by the Sequoia Foundation in July 2011 with 160 students at two locations. By late 2014 it had grown to eight locations with close to 3,000 students for each 40-week course.

It is an unique combination of in-class and online teachers for each two-hour class per week. Many of its students come from low income families.

Every class, students practice conversational English by Skype® with volunteers from around the world. These conversations help students become more confident in their language skills and introduce them to people from other countries and cultures. The program emphasizes spoken and written English to help students feel comfortable using English with tourists, educators and entrepreneurs who visit Brazil. EnglishWorks makes extensive use of online education tools and social media. This helps prepare students to continue with their studies online after the course is complete

Some students enroll in the program to improve their English in preparation for college or university in North America or Europe. Others want to improve their language skills to get a better job. Still others want to learn English for travel or the simply the pleasure of learning.

  •  94% of students surveyed that they are satisfied with the course
  • 91% of students said that is very likely to continue the course
  • 81% of students said that their English has improved
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What people are saying about EnglishWorks:

“The whole program is innovative,” says Carla Arena, head of the Educational Technology and Digital Communication Department at Casa Thomas Jefferson, a non-profit in Brasilia that teaches English and trains and develops teachers. Casa Thomas Jefferson developed some of the teacher professional development content for the Sequoia Foundation.
The blended model is brand new here in Brazil. There is someone in the classroom with the students and at the same time we have the web conference (for online participants) so everyone is in one place together. And it is not just lecturing, the participants are doing hands-on, online and social media activities which is different from a lecture.All those elements add up to more and better assimilation of information, in other words, better learning.
Students …..
The course prepares people, provides to the students the opportunity to be more open, mainly because it motivates us to keep in touch with international volunteers, practicing what we have learned in class.” MARIA INES DE QUEIROZ CAUPER EnglishWorks Student
I have already done an english course before, but reading, understanding without translating, I have only accomplished at EnglishWorks, I used to get stuck, but speaking and communicating was impossible, today I feel much more confident to communicate with any foreigner, this course is opening new horizons in my life, I can even watch movies without subtitles! It is very rewarding to me.” ANA CAROLINA CAVALCANTE GOMES EnglishWorks Student
I have learned a lot with the course, thinking and knowing what I have to say is great, I am a International tourist guide, the dialogs helped me a lot with the situations proposed, I will attend a course in Orlando, and I am very excited because I have already learned a lot and I know that I will need to communicate a lot there. Our class about tourist attractions was unforgettable to me, it helped me a lot.” MARIA DAS GRACAS SOARES CORREA  EnglishWorks Student

Meet your teachers

EnglishWorks teachers love what they do because they believe in what they do. Every class they have a goal to help you get better and better. Six of them are English speaking Brazilians, two are native English speakers from Canada.


Maria Clara Britto – Madureira


Márcio Correia — Padre Miguel, Vila Aliança


Andréa Idiri — Santa Cruz


Daniele Petra — Nova Brasilia


Hi! My name is Daniele Petra, I am the English teacher at Nave Nova Brasília. I like to spend time with my family and friends and also go to the movies, learn about cultures and technology. I believe that expanding perspective is important in life, hence I try to bring a lot of knowledge and news, beyond English, to my classes. Learning with joy!




Fernanda Peixoto — Irajá, Pehha


My name is Fernanda Peixoto. I am 30 and I live in a small city in Rio de Janeiro called Rio Bonito. I am a monitor at Penha and Irajá. I love all my students, they inspire me to make each class special. I wish to help them to move forward and understand how special they are. Being a teacher at EnglishWorks is amazing because I have an incredible opportunity to meet different people and know about their dreams.




Diego Souto von Helde — Triagem


My name is Diego Souto von Helde and I am the monitor for EnglishWorks in Triagem. I graduated in Economics from Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) and did post-graduate work at the Brazilian Institute of King’s College University of London (KCL). My final dissertation was on social programmes for digital inclusion in Brazil. I have experience in tourism and finance but found my true vocation in teaching. I began my collaboration with EnglishWorks (EW) at the beginning of 2014 as an online volunteer. In June 2014, I did an internship in which I assisted the monitors in the delivery of EW classes at two locations, Madureira and Irajá. Subsequently I was asked to start a new EW project in Triagem. In addition, I write academic papers based on the Sequoia Foundation’s own research and submit applications for international events.


Jason Skitch — Online teacher


Hi! My name is Jason Skitch. I am a Canadian but I have lived in Rio de Janeiro for the past few years. I have been an online teacher with EnglishWorks for about three years. EnglishWorks feels like family. I’m very proud of the work we do as an organization, but also the work I do as an individual. Our students really respond favourably to the program and to me as a teacher. It feels good to be appreciated. My students make me feel special every time I see them.



Roger Gillespie — Online teacher


Roger Gillespie is a Canadian. He lives in London, Ontario, Canada.He has been a journalist for 30 years but now spends his time learning how to teach. He speaks bad Portuguese and used to think Samba was a Brazilian drink. Fortunately his English is much better. He started as a Skype volunteer in January 2014 because he liked the philosophy of the project. He loves it more each day. He took ESL certification in December 2013 and is currently studying for a second ESL certification.



Cristiana Magalhães


My name is Cristiana Magalhães. I am the EnglishWorks Project Manager. I love what I do. I work with outstanding professionals. I am always learning. My favorite place to go is the beach.
And I am a chocolate lover!




Rafaela do Nascimento — Intern


Hello! My name is Rafaela do Nascimento and I am 20 years old. I live in Vila Kennedy, a neighborhood in RJ city. I study at the Universidade Veiga de Almeida where I am doing a BA in Portuguese and English.

I am an intern at EnglishWorks. My goal is to be a teacher, and the EnglishWorks course is an amazing opportunity to improve my experience in the classroom. I help students with what I know. What I do not know, I learn. I work with English, a language that I love, and with people and I believe that makes me a better person. I always try to bring what I learn at university to our classes, like how to think about the language. This is one of my beliefs.