Attaining English language skills can open up huge opportunities for many people around the world. As a Language Coach, 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.
In a Language Coach 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 Language Coach/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.
Language Coach 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.
Language Coach placements are mostly in primary and secondary schools, with some university placements available too. Lattitude volunteers provide students with the opportunity to practice their spoken English by leading activities such as conversation, role playing, singing and debating. A range of extra-curricular activities including conversation groups, visiting students’ homes and playing games add great value and enjoyment to the placements. Volunteers may also be asked to teach the teachers as well to assist in enhancing their confidence in English conversation.
Volunteers in Vietnam are greatly valued by their host schools and are accepted as teaching staff from the beginning. Students are eager to learn and many lessons are engaging and great fun. As is the demand for English speakers in Vietnam, volunteers may soon find themselves running extra classes, for both their students and maybe even members of the local community.
Volunteers in Vietnam will find they are very popular and will soon get to know the local community very well. In doing this there is real opportunity to get the most out of a work placement, enabling volunteers to experience Vietnam and its culture in far greater depth than if they were to simply travel through!
Volunteers normally teach an average of 20 hours of formal classes per week. A small amount of pocket money is paid.