Volunteer Teaching English and Other Subjects Abroad
You don't have to be a teacher to volunteer on our English Teaching projects abroad. There is no need to have a TEFL or TESOL qualification to gain work experience in any of our overseas destinations. You don't even need to speak the local language where you are going. The programme is open to all volunteers whether you are on a gap year, at university or wanting a career break. All we require is a good standard of spoken English.
You will find a warm welcome awaits you amongst our students around the world. Often their local teachers are very capable at teaching the structural aspects of the English language - such as the grammar - but do not use the correct intonation or pronunciation, because they lack the confidence of a native speaker. By providing Conversational English teaching you can greatly enhance the learning experience and the future prospects of thousands of children and adults with whom we work in the developing world.
Often you will find that all you have is a blackboard and a piece of chalk in the classroom. Fortunately the main resource you have is yourself. The students will want to find out about you. They will want to know why you have chosen to come and teach in a school in India or a university in Mexico. Lots of the lessons will give you the opportunity to explain about where you live or your interests and hobbies at home.
Usually you will teach about 18 hours of timetabled conversational English lessons per week. You will also need to take time to prepare your lessons, and mark your students' work. Many volunteers choose to help out in other areas too, taking students for extra-curricular activities like sport, drama or music lessons for example.
Once you have applied the Desk Officer in your destination country will get in touch with you to find out more about you and explain more about teaching in the school or university you will be joining. Before you leave we will send you a comprehensive teaching guide with ideas, teaching games and advice. It includes tried and tested teaching resources, and takes you through beginners and intermediate lessons.
It is a good idea to bring some of your own resources too, whether it is pictures of your friends and family or some postcards of where you live. Another great aspect of a Projects Abroad experience is being able to sit down with other volunteers and share ideas of what works best in the classroom. Before you know it your great lesson plan will be being repeated in classrooms across the city where you are based.
Teach French Language in schools and universities with Projects Abroad
If you are a French speaker you will be welcomed into schools and universities to share your knowledge. There is often a shortage of French teachers to work in schools and universities. You will work alongside local teachers but usually end up teaching your own class. You will have about 18 hours of teaching time working in the school or university. In some cases volunteers will do a combination helping to teach some English and some French.
The facilities where you work are often basic but the students will be keen to meet you and find out about you. Once you have applied the desk officer in your destination country will get in touch with you to find out more about your preferences and give you more details about the school or university where you will be working. It is best to bring some of your own resources whether it is pictures of your friends and family or some postcards of where you live. You have a real opportunity to introduce French to students around the world.
Teaching Plus - teaching sports, drama, music and other subjects
Teaching Plus is a programme where you can join one of our teaching projects working in schools in a variety of subject areas. You might want to help teaching sport, teaching music, teaching art, teaching drama, or another subject that you specialise in. You don't need to be a qualified or experienced teacher to join the programme, and you are sure to receive a warm welcome from the schools we work with who are so keen to work with our volunteers.
The schools we work in are generally poorly resourced but full of students eager to meet you and work with you. Whether you are teaching cricket in India or music in Mongolia you will find that students and staff will be keen to work with a new person from another part of the world. You will often find yourself as something of a local celebrity!
These programmes run alongside our Teaching English and Teaching French programmes. Some volunteers choose to combine teaching a language alongside a Teaching Plus programme. Just ask and we will see if the school can fit the combination that suits you.
Here is what some of our past Teaching volunteers have had to say:
"Life for school children in China is at times very boring so letting them have some fun always led to a sea of smiling faces. At the end of our placement we were presented with two pairs of Silk Pyjamas and a beautiful certificate, and it was amazing to realise how much we were appreciated by the school for the work we did."
Chris Brown - Teaching volunteer in China
"The overall experience of teaching 13 -18 year old children in the third world in Peru was a remarkable/incredible/enjoyable experience. I shall never forget the interest all the children had in their 'English teacher'."
James Harrop - Teaching volunteer in Peru
"My most memorable experience was the wonderfulness of the local people and the children at school begging us not to stop teaching at the end of a school day."
Hugh Sprot - Teaching volunteer in South Africa