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Volunteer English Teacher
About the placement/internship

Why did you decide to do a placement/internship?

I wanted to combine volunteering with going abroad so that I could practise the skills of teaching English as a foreign language as well as experiencing a different culture by living in a different country for a month.

How did you find your placement/internship?

Organisation website

Application process

The application process is fairly easy you just complete the form on the website stating why you want to volunteer on the programme and they respond within 48 hours to tell you if your application is successful. If successful you are required to book the programme soon after the confirmation.

Main responsibilities

My main responsibilities was to plan English lessons for my class each day and to make sure there was continuous activities in the break time. Every 2 weeks we were required to make a formal exam for the classes to test them on what they had learnt so far.

Typical day

A typical day included planning the lessons in the morning with my fellow teachers. This included preparing resources as a result of the lack of technology we often had to make multiple worksheets by hand as there was no laptops or photocopiers. Then in the afternoon we would get our tuk tuks to project and teach from 3pm - 6pm. During the teaching period we would also have a 30 minutes break time where we would supervise the children playing outside.

What did I enjoy about my placement/internship?

Over the 4 weeks I really enjoyed getting to know the individual children's personalities and forming relationships with them. It was very rewarding to see the children get to know us and really enjoying the topics of the lessons, they particularly enjoyed the lessons on the solar system and the moon, as well as their written and spoken English getting better. As well as teaching the children they were also very eager to teach us about Sri Lanka and Buddhism. A group of girls in my class during break invited me into their temple and gave a tour of the different parts of the temple which was very interesting.

Challenging aspects

At the start of the placement it was quite hard to know where to start with the class, as there was not much evidence of what they had done previously with other teachers and also to know what level of English they were. Also to begin with the children were quite reluctant to interact with the new teachers, so it took a lot of creativity and patience for them to warm to us and to come out of there shells. After the first week they really started to enjoy our classes and were very confident when interacting with us.

Has your time on placement influenced your future career choice?

My placement has definitely inspired me to do further charity work both at home and abroad as it was inspiring to see how volunteering and work can make such a different to peoples lives.

Advice to students

My piece of advice to students

I would highly recommend students from all courses to go and volunteer in a different country. In particular, I think teaching English was very rewarding as by the end of the placement you could see how much the students had improved with their speaking and grammar.

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Form completed: 15 Aug 2018

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