How to Teach ESL as a Volunteer - A Complete Guide
Volunteer English teaching can take many forms and can be undertaken in a wide range of countries throughout the world.
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There are many reasons why volunteer teaching is a good idea. These include, but are not limited to the following:
a) Live with a host family: Many volunteer positions include the possibility of living with a host family.
b) To experience the culture: As mentioned above, you need to be immersed in the culture if you hope to understand it.
c) To find out about the country: There can be no better way to learn about a country than by being there.
d) Service: Being able to give something of yourself in the service of others builds humility.
e) No contract: You can enjoy all the benefits above without the need to commit to any long-term contract.
f) To add experience to your CV/resume: Volunteering is a great addition to your CV or resume, showing you are willing to put yourself in a new situation and learn new things.
g) To experience the job of teaching: Volunteer teaching is a great way to find out what the job entails.
You may also have some of your own personal factors that should be taken into account when considering any program.
As there are opportunities worldwide, it is difficult to highlight all the available destinations. We have made some suggestions in the next section. However, there are some general considerations for where you may think about volunteering.
Volunteering tends to focus around countries where the population is unable to afford to pay teachers. This means the areas for volunteering are often economically disadvantaged, with the accompanying restrictions in infrastructure. It is very important that before you commit to any program, you do your research on what to expect in the country you choose to visit. You may find the area presents little in the way of your usual comforts, and you should be prepared for such.
It is also important to be realistic about what you may be able to do outside of teaching. If your contract is to teach over 40 hours per week, for example, this is a full-time job, and you may not have much energy to do much else.
It is important to be realistic in your own aims and what you can expect to achieve in a short space of time.
There are too many of these to list, but carefully research any program to ensure your expectations will be met when you pay to volunteer. Organizations such as the International Forum for Volunteering in Development (https://forum-ids.org/) can provide useful information and insight into various programs in over 120 countries around the world.
Up-to-date information can be found here at the International Volunteer HQ website (https://www.volunteerhq.org/).
UN volunteers is obviously a massive initiative with the backing of the United Nations. UN Volunteers can receive a monthly Volunteer Living Allowance (VLA). Up-to-date information can be found here at the UN Volunteers website (https://www.unv.org/).
There are a number of volunteer opportunities that you can undertake for free. Some of the better-known programs are:
(i) Peace Corps: Up-to-date information can be found here at the Peace Corps website.
(ii) VSO: Up-to-date information can be found here at the VSO website.
(iii) WWOOF: Up-to-date information can be found here at the WWOOF website.
In conclusion, volunteer English teaching offers a unique opportunity to make a positive impact while embarking on a life-changing journey. Whether you choose to immerse yourself in a new culture, add valuable experience to your resume, or simply give back to those in need, there's a volunteer program that can align with your goals. Remember to research thoroughly, set realistic expectations, and embrace the rewarding challenges that come with teaching English as a volunteer. It's not just an adventure; it's a chance to connect, learn, and make a difference in the world. So, why wait? Start your volunteer teaching journey today!
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