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English Teaching Volunteer Work in Thailand

Teaching in Thailand, School

Thailand has a long and well-deserved reputation as a country popular with tourists and travellers from all corners of the globe. However, the majority of normal Thai people benefit very little from the tourist dollars entering the country. Speaking English is now a route to better jobs and prospects and volunteering as an English teacher in Thailand can help to redress this imbalance. More Thai people will be able to benefit from the country's increasing presence in the global market and growing foreign investment.

You can gain practical work experience as an English teacher in Thailand without the need for a TEFL qualification and with no previous experience of teaching. Whether you want to volunteer during your gap year, career break or as a part of an extended holiday, you will have a role to play on one of our teaching projects and your efforts will be greatly appreciated.

Teach English Language in schools with Projects Abroad

Teaching in Thailand, Teaching

Most of our voluntary teaching placements in Thailand are situated in the town of Krabi and its surrounding region, though we also have a few teaching placements three hours drive further north in Chumphon. Krabi is situated about an hour's flight south of the capital of Bangkok on the west coast of Thailand. Volunteers work in government schools in Thailand alongside local teachers. The schools vary in size, from small temple-based schools up to much larger schools with more facilities.

The volunteer teaching projects in Thailand help a range of schools. In the nurseries, volunteers teach children as young as 3 years old, and in the secondary schools the students can be up to 22 years old. Most volunteers work in primary schools with children from the ages of about 4 to 11. Inevitably class sizes are big, some with more than 50 students, although often these can be divided between two volunteers. Volunteers are expected to teach for about four hours per day depending on the placement.

However, whichever school you work in you will be very much needed. The teachers may be good at teaching the grammar and structure of the English language but when it comes to speaking, many lack the knowledge and confidence, having been taught by non English-speakers themselves. As a volunteer teacher, you will help fill this gap by focussing on developing the confidence of students who are nervous about making mistakes when talking in public.

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

Volunteering on a Teaching Project in Thailand

Thai students are generally dedicated and hard working, and respond well to the arrival of a new face. Thai culture ensures that they are especially respectful to teachers in general - although children are still children! The young age group enjoy the fun elements that our volunteer teachers inject into lessons; activities like songs, games and colouring will all be well received.

If you prefer, you can choose to work with the older children aged between 11 and 16 years old. The older students are very keen to find out about Western culture and you should take advantage of this to encourage them to develop their English skills with you. If you have an interest in football they will want to know which team you support and what you think of David Beckham's new hairstyle! A popular lesson may be teaching a class how to sing one of the latest pop songs from the west and helping them to understand the lyrics. However, this age group will be working towards set exams and you will have a syllabus to follow and you are likely to get asked some grammar questions from time to time.

Teaching volunteers in Thailand are expected to be at the school from about 8.30am to 3.30pm. You should have approximately 18 hours of actual classes a week, but being at the school in the morning to take part in singing the national anthem and respecting the flag is important, as is staying until home time. When you are not teaching a class you can be planning lessons and completing marking and take time to get to know the other Thai teachers in the staff room.

If you want to get involved outside the classroom, previous volunteers have set up an English club or helped with sports. It is sometimes also possible for you to teach other subjects, such as IT or French. Please tell us your main interests when you apply and we will try to accommodate you.

The schools in Thailand have their main holidays from mid-March to mid-MAy, with a shorter holiday from the start of September to the start of November. During these times Teaching and Care volunteers will often work together and we organise a variety of holiday programmes including an adventure camp in Chumphon, basic English lessons and fun educational activities in Ao Nang and teaching some English classes to adults in the local community.

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