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English Teaching Volunteer Work Abroad in Senegal

Teaching in Senegal, School Children and Volunteer

As a former colony of France, French has long been the language of education, commerce and the media in Senegal. However, with the recent increase in tourism, Senegalese society is increasingly realising the benefits of being able to also use the English language. English is compulsory for Senegalese school children from the age of eleven right through to the end of secondary education. Many university students continue to pursue English studies regardless of their degree subject.

There is also great interest among adults - particularly those working in tourism, trade and education - to improve their English skills, and with this continued emphasis it is inevitable that the unemployment rate will begin to fall. This will have a positive effect on the many social problems in Senegalese society; half of the population is currently estimated to be living below the poverty line. By giving your time as a volunteer English teacher you will be helping to relieve these issues.

Volunteer teaching in Senegal can be done without a TEFL and without having any previous teaching experience. All we require are strong English language skills and a passion for engaging with others. Whether you want to get involved with teaching during your gap year, career break or an extended holiday you will have a role to play on one of our placements, and your efforts will be greatly appreciated.

Teach English Language in schools with Projects Abroad

Teaching in Senegal, School Children

There are many secondary schools in and around the urban island city of St Louis, Projects Abroad Senegal's base in the north of the country. Some schools are private and some government-funded.

At the College AHL Guillabert, the school is open from 8am to 5pm, with classes running throughout the day. The children here range in age from about 12 to 18 years old with classes of about thirty pupils on average, although sometimes you may find this can go up as high as sixty due to a lack of funds to pay for extra staffing. Volunteers will be expected to teach around four hours a day. There is a friendly staff-room where you can spend time with other teachers, mark work and plan lessons.

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

Volunteering on a Teaching Project in Senegal

As a volunteer in Senegal, you will work alongside local English teachers, encouraging the students' confidence in spoken English and helping to plan and teach lessons. Lessons are often based closely on textbooks and a set curriculum, but there is plenty of opportunity for volunteers to develop interesting themes over subsequent lessons and to introduce more creative teaching methods.

Past volunteers have taught lessons on subjects as diverse as society, religion and women's rights, and found great enthusiasm among students to tackle such topics. Due to the fact that there are no organisations outside Dakar that offer English tuition outside of school environments, Projects Abroad volunteers are in demand. You may get involved in 'Clubs d'Anglais' in your school, as well as giving lessons to adult learners in evening classes or workplace-based groups.

The schools take their long summer holiday from the end of June to mid October. During this time summer school projects are arranged for children who want to take extra classes. The emphasis is on fun and variety and volunteers tend to teach English and a second subject of their choice, which could be sports, drama or science for example.

Whatever skills and talents you have, volunteer work in Senegal will give you the opportunity to put them to good use. Be imaginative with your teaching to make learning fun and enjoyable for the students and yourself!

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