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English Teaching Volunteer Work Abroad in South Africa

South Africa is a country of dramatic change and optimism, which is reflected in the schools in which we work. Though they are often over-crowded, understaffed and under-funded, a real enthusiasm and a hope for the future seem to permeate through the students. It is going to be hard to maintain this as more and more private schools continue to appear, luring the most skilled teachers away with lucrative contracts. Teaching English as a volunteer is one way in which people can begin to help addressing this imbalance.

South Africa has a highly varied population; 41% of Cape Town residents speak Afrikaans at home, 29% speak Xhosa, 28% speak English, with smaller percentages speaking any one of the eight national tribal languages. Due to this cultural diversity, English is emerging as the language of communication in many public walks of life, so having a native English speaker is particularly helpful.

You can volunteer as an English teacher in South Africa during your gap year, career break or during an extended holiday. You can gain this work experience without any previous experience, and we do not require you to have a TEFL qualification. Our voluntary teaching projects in South Africa not only benefit the people in the schools where we work but also within the wider communities.

Teach English Language in schools with Projects Abroad

Teaching in South Africa,Frida Volunteers who are teaching in South Africa are based in the poorer suburbs of Cape Town and the surrounding Cape Flats townships of Grassy Park, Lavender Hill, and Vrygrond.

You can work with primary or secondary children so let us know your preference. You can teach English to children of any age, and are also likely to be asked to help local teachers brush up on their own language skills.

Schools in the townships might have classes with up to 70 students with just a single teacher and, by sharing this load with the teacher, or even taking a class on your own, you will be greatly relieving the workload, whilst providing the students with an added dimension to their education. Each volunteer is expected to teach for at least four hours per day.

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

Volunteering on a Teaching Project in South Africa

Our volunteers teach conversational English in schools to a range of ages and abilities. While you'll have the basics of a blackboard and chalk, classrooms often lack other resources. But it really doesn't matter that much; your most important resource is yourself, so try to draw on all your experiences and interests to really bring the lessons alive. Bringing items from home such as photos, stamps and magazines can be great for building lessons around, and our teaching booklet will also give you plenty of ideas.

Teaching in South Africa,Children enjoying lessons Voluntary teaching in schools in South Africa doesn't have to be just about teaching English. In South Africa, there is the opportunity to teach other subjects according to your interests and skills, and you are encouraged to help with extra-curricular activities such as sports, music, art, drama, singing and even practical skills such as carpentry, metalwork and construction, if you have relevant experience. With the school day usually finishing by 2.30pm in South Africa, there are lots of opportunities for extra-curricular lessons, and the staff are keen for you to help with all aspects of the school.

If you want to teach in a more holistic, informal environment, you could also choose to work as a mentor with more vulnerable 'at risk' groups of youths. This placement would see you teaching functional literacy and numeracy, English, basic computer skills, and general life skills to children between the ages of 8 and 16, many of whom are living on the streets.

Please let us know when you apply if you have any specific interests.

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