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English Teaching Volunteer Work Abroad in Bolivia

Teaching in Bolivia, Teaching Volunteer

Bolivia is one of the poorest and least developed countries in Latin America. With the English being the language of much international business and commerce, students are very keen to learn. The standards of conversational English teaching are usually not high, so students are keen to develop good spoken language skills wherever possible, which is where you can help as a volunteer English teacher.

You can work as an English teaching volunteer in Bolivia without a formal teaching qualification, and you do not need to have a TEFL certificate. Whether you want to volunteer teaching during your gap year, career break or as part of an extended holiday period, you will have a role to play on one of our volunteer placements.

Teach English Language in University with Projects Abroad

Our main teaching project in Bolivia is located at the University of San Simon, in the town of Cochabamba, teaching English to University students.

Teaching in Bolivia, Volunteer

As a volunteer teacher at the University in Bolivia, you can expect to teach between about 18 and 20 hours a week, but remember you'll need more time to prepare a structured lesson. Teaching students who will often be a similar age to yourself is often fun and rewarding. They have chosen to study at University and so want to be there, and just because they are not school children it doesn't mean they won't enjoy playing games in your lesson - it will certainly make a change from their regular lectures! Your supervisor will be happy to guide you with lesson ideas if necessary.

Teaching in Bolivia, Teaching in Bolivia

The main University holidays take place from mid December to the end of March. During this time we run our own popular Projects Abroad language classes. These are entirely programmed and run by Projects Abroad and are managed by Bolivia Director, Daniela Viljoen. In the past these English classes have been given to all levels of English students, from beginners to advanced, however Projects Abroad volunteers will now be working alongside the University of San Simon to help prepare final year students for their aptitude tests in either English or French.

Volunteers who work on the holiday English or French classes will help prepare students in the areas of listening and comprehension as well as conversation and oral practice. The English proficiency exam is based on the Oxford University English Language test, and the French test is based on the DELF and DALF proficiency exams.

Volunteering on a Teaching Project in Bolivia

The level of English in Cochabamba, a vibrant university town in the central highlands is generally low. This is because Quechua - a language indigenous to this region of the Andes - is the native tongue for most local people; Spanish is their second language. However, English is viewed as an increasingly important language to learn.

Teaching in Bolivia, Teaching, Bolivia, Classroom

At the University of San Simon in particular, English is seen as a gateway to learning - to more books, to different professions and ultimately to international jobs. Away from the tourist trail, Cochabamba doesn't generally attract a lot of native English speakers so, as a Projects Abroad volunteer, the linguistics department will welcome you with open arms!

The levels of English vary from beginner to advanced, so do let us know if you have a teaching preference. Similarly, if you are - or have been - a university student yourself, let us know the subject area you studied and we may be able to match you up with groups of students from that discipline. Then you can use your common interests for conversation and to help them build up a relevant vocabulary.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Bolivia Teaching Management Plan.

You can also assist your students to contribute to the 'Cocha-Banner', an English-language newspaper distributed within the city. For more information please follow this link to our Journalism in Bolivia project.

This is a great placement if you want to learn Spanish. By working at the University, you'll make friends with Spanish-speaking adults, with whom you may want to socialise, and you'll stay with a Spanish-speaking host-family which will also improve your Spanish language skills immeasurably. You could also choose to take part in one of our Spanish Language Courses

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