Not everyone around the world has equal access to education. As an ESL teacher, how can you make a difference in this world? There are many ways. But one very helpful and also rewarding way is to teach abroad as a volunteer ESL teacher. It will definitely not let you make money like high-paying TEFL jobs. However, it is a great chance to give back to the community. If you are interested in volunteer teaching and helping underprivileged students around the world, continue reading.
Countries for Volunteer Teaching ESL
Check out the list of countries that you should consider if you want to teach abroad as a volunteer English teacher. Also, don’t forget to check the qualifications for volunteer teaching ESL abroad.
Kenya is a country located in East Africa. It is a country proud of natural wonders and beautiful sights. However, this amazing country has huge inequalities in education. Also, there is an acute shortage of teachers at many schools. In 2021, there were 27 schools that did not receive any applications from teachers and had to remain with unfilled positions. Sadly, it is very hard to find teachers in general and even harder to find qualified teachers in Kenya.
Kenya is a very youthful country. Around 40% of the population is under 14 years old; 18% of the population is between 15 and 24 years old. As a passionate ESL teacher, you will love the students in Kenya. Most of the students are eager to learn. The Ministry of Education aims to build more schools and rehabilitate existing ones. They just need more teachers to educate their students!
You may also want to consider teaching English in Rwanda.
Ghana is a West African country on the Gulf of Guinea. It is a country rich in diamonds and oil; it is also the largest gold producer in the world. However, poverty is concerning in rural areas where poor people rely on cocoa farming as their source of income. Overall, the country’s economy highly depends on natural resources. Fortunately, with the price increase of cocoa, gold, and oil, the country is moving away from Low Income Country and into a Lower Middle-Income Country.
Yet, the country still faces educational problems in rural areas. Schools have pool classroom and furniture conditions, inadequate learning materials and equipment, and a lack of libraries and labs. Also, there is a high rate of female students drop out after primary education. Although Ghana has a better enrollment rate than most of the other countries in Africa, there is much room for improvement. ESL teachers can volunteer to teach and help to reduce education inequality in rural areas.
3. India: Volunteer Teaching
India is part of the Asian continent and is mostly surrounded by water on three sides. The world’s highest mountain range, the Himalayas, is in India. The neighboring countries of India are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, China, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka. Although there are lots of opportunities to travel, it is advised to be careful in India and avoid certain parts of the country due to terrorism and civil unrest.
The Indian Education System is one of the largest in the world. It has over 1,000 universities. However, there is a large educational inequality in India, and there are many reasons for it. People’s lives really differ depending on caste, class, and gender in India. Most of the great educational opportunities are concentrated in urban cities where rich people live. Other reasons for educational inequality include linguistic exclusion and geography. If you volunteer to teach English in India, you will be able to teach underprivileged students who are not in the upper castes.
Cambodia is a Southeast Asian country. It is possible to find English teaching jobs that are paid in Cambodia. However, there is a greater opportunity for ESL volunteer teaching! It is especially a good option if you are looking for a country within Asia. Like Kenya, Cambodia also has a very young population. People under the age of 15 make up almost half of the total population in Cambodia. The education system in Cambodia is facing the following problems: high dropout rates, lack of resources, gender inequalities, and the quality of education.
A lot of countries, like Cambodia especially, have a hard time finding qualified teachers. By volunteering as an English teacher in Cambodia, you can help to improve the quality of education. Although the schools lack resources, there are many free or cheap teaching materials online to help ESL teachers!
Guatemala is a country located in Central America. It is a country that suffers from severe poverty. Guatemala ranks the second highest poverty level in the Americas. The country suffers from climate change as it is stressing the agricultural sector. Almost half of the population in Guatemala suffers from poverty. When it comes to indigenous people, the percentage rises to almost 80%. What is more shocking is that indigenous people make up 40% of the total population. So, it isn’t surprising to learn that Guatemala faces major challenges in education.
The majority of Guatemalan youth only complete middle school level education; over 40% of teenagers are out of school. Among all sixth graders, only 40% reached performance standards in reading. Because the quality of education is so low and Guatemala lacks skilled teachers, the country is in need of volunteer teachers.
6. South Africa: Volunteer Teaching
The economy of South Africa is the third largest in Africa and probably is the most industrialized and technologically advanced country in Africa. However, in 2022, 18.2 million people lived in extreme poverty in South Africa. Compared to 2021, more than 100,000 people were pushed into poverty. The number of people suffering from poverty is projected to increase until 2025.
There are many volunteer teaching programs in South Africa. South Africa has one of the most unequal education systems in the world. There are nearly 7,000 schools throughout the country. However, only the students in the top 200 schools get a proper education. Therefore, as an ESL volunteer teacher, you can help students from one of the 6,000+ schools to get better education.
FAQs About Volunteer Teaching English Abroad
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about volunteering abroad as an ESL teacher.
How can I teach English abroad without experience?
If you lack experience but still want to teach English abroad, being part of a volunteering program is a great option. You will be able to gain teaching experience while giving back to the community. It is helpful for your career and also very rewarding at the same time.
What are the qualifications to volunteer to teach ESL abroad?
Some of the most common qualifications of volunteer teaching include TEFL certification and criminal background checks. Schools or programs will rarely look for teaching experience for volunteers.
What is the best volunteer abroad program?
Some of the best volunteer abroad programs for adults include IVHQ, Global Vision International, GoEco, African Impact, Love Volunteers, Conversation Travel Africa, and Oyster Worldwide.
ESL Volunteer Teaching: Join the Conversation
What are your thoughts on volunteer teaching in one of these countries? Is volunteer teaching abroad something that you want to do? It is definitely a challenging and rewarding job! Let us know what you think in the comments. We’d love to hear from you.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 301 Pages - 12/21/2022 (Publication Date)
Last update on 2022-07-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API