Attaining English language skills can open up huge opportunities for many people around the world. As an English Tutor you will be able to share your valuable skills in kindergartens, primary schools, secondary schools, universities and other language institutes with people of all ages. While each country has its own approach to language learning, some will have a curriculum to follow while others will expect you to use your initiative. Varied levels, ages, class sizes and resources mean you’ll have to think on your feet and occasionally improvise, but you’ll never have a dull moment in the classroom.
Volunteers will work within primary and secondary schools, providing English language assistance in classes alongside permanent members of staff. In Latin America, many schools are bilingual, which means they expose children to a foreign language as much as possible in the aim that pupils will have reached a certain degree of fluency by the time they leave. As a native or fluent English speaker, your skills will therefore be highly valued, and you will help to improve students’ fluency, particularly with regards to conversational skills.
As an English teacher in China you will have the option between working in a primary school, secondary school or teacher training college. You will teach English as a foreign language and will be responsible for the planning and teaching or your lessons. Depending on the age group you would prefer to teach, you will need to adapt your lesson plans and teaching style to suit your audience. Primary school teachers, for example, will need to use their creativity to ensure their lessons are interesting to young children. English teaching placements in China are perfect for volunteers looking to gain first-hand experience of Chinese culture while gaining some valuable language teaching skills.
In an English teaching placement in Ecuador, you will work in a primary or secondary school to help permanent members of staff improve the language levels of pupils of different ages. In some classes, the level of English will be quite low, so you will need to be prepared to be creative in your approach to teaching – playing bingo and singing nursery rhymes have proved very popular in the past!
In most schools you will start off in more of an assistant-style role, then as you build up your experience and confidence you will be given more responsibility. Hosts are also keen for you to bring your own skills and interests to your role, so if you have a particular talent for art or sport, for example, be sure to discuss with your mentors how best you impart your knowledge!
Lattitude volunteers in Poland will be based at a variety of schools from pre-school to high school level. They will officially adopt the position of teaching assistants, but will often be in the position of planning and taking charge of lessons. You will work alongside permanent teachers and help with a range of activities, from English teaching to accompanying children on school trips. This enable volunteers to use their conversational English skills to assist both students and teachers. Some placements have the added challenge of being in special schools for blind or partially sighted students, or for students with special needs.
English Tutor roles in Spain offer volunteers the freedom to develop imaginative lesson plans that encourage students to practice their English in a fun and supportive setting. The ability to adapt, think creatively and embrace a new culture will allow you to experience the wonderful traditions and customs that Spain has to offer.
Volunteers may also become involved with additional activities in the school, such as music or drama classes or sport, and occasional extracurricular activities and outings.