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Did you know that almost every company that allows you to teach English online without a degree requires a TEFL certificate AND TEFL experience? But how do you get experience? One of the quickest and easiest ways to get experience is to volunteer. But where and how to volunteer? Not to worry! The crew here at TEFLPros has put together a list of volunteer TEFL opportunities you can start NOW!
BTW, if you haven’t already gotten your TEFL, why not start the process while you begin volunteering? That way, you can put some of the skills you learn on the course into action right away! TEFLPros is the only 120-hour accredited course on the market that offers over 50 hours of video training – 17 of which are real classroom lessons led by real TEFL teachers!
Read on to learn more about volunteer opportunities to get experience teaching English now!
THE easiest way to get volunteer experience is to simply find a friend who needs help with their English! Especially if you’ve recently graduated from college or are still in college, you probably have a friend or a classmate who’d be more than happy to get help writing a paper or practicing their speaking.
Check out your college’s online bulletin board to see if anyone is advertising for an English tutor. Or, simply ask your friends if they know of anyone you could help.
Did you know teachers in classrooms all across America desperately need extra support for their English Learners in our nation’s public schools? There’s a huge need at the elementary, high school and community college level. You’re sure to be rewarded, no matter which age range you choose to work with.
Also, it’s a wonderful way to see certified, experienced teachers in action. You’ll learn tons just from observing in the classroom and you’ll get expert guidance. Just watch out not to fall in love with the little cuties in the primary grades!
Pro Tip: If you decide to volunteer in a school, start the application process early. The schools have to conduct a background check which can slow down the process of you getting into the classroom.
Volunteering through a recognized organization is a great way to receive excellent training and ongoing support. Also, you can make a huge difference in someone’s life and might even make a life long friend!
To find an organization near you, simply type your zip code into the National Literacy Directory. It includes listings for programs in Early Childhood, Family Literacy, High School Equivalency/Adult Basic Education, English Language Learning, and Citizenship Classes.
Another great place to volunteer is at your local Literacy Council. Here’s a training video of an ESL tutoring session. Did you know, folks wanting to learn English often wait years to get placed with a tutor? Your services would be greatly appreciated.
What’s a language exchange? Well, it usually takes place between two native speakers teaching each other their native language. Language exchanges can happen in person on a website or app.
In a typical session, partners speak in one language for the first half and in the second language for the second half. This is an especially popular way to gain volunteer experience if you want to improve your own language skills. It’ll remind you of just how fun and challenging learning a new language can be!
Bilingua is just one of the many language exchange apps out there. With Bilingua, users are able to find the best language partner for them. It matches users by their languages, interests, and personality.
Volunteering with immigrants and refugees can be especially rewarding. There is the option to work with adults or children – in a home setting or in a school setting. You could help a refugee get their first job in the United States, help someone become a US citizen, or assist a teacher with immigrant students in a public school classroom.
You can look for organizations near you, such as The Immigrant Learning Center in Maiden, MA or Refugee and Immigrant Transitions in San Francisco, or you can find ways to volunteer online with organizations such as the UK’s refunet.
Another wonderful side effect of this kind of volunteering is the education YOU’LL receive. Not only will you learn about different cultures first hand, you’ll get a glimpse of the circumstances behind why individuals and families left their homeland.
When COVID is behind us, you might be itching for an international challenge! In that case, one option is to volunteer to teach English through a nonprofit organization like Voluntario Global. Located in Buenos Aires, Brazil, it’s mission is to create a network between volunteers and local organizations that are already doing great things for the less fortunate children of that city.
Alternatively, there are other organizations, like SamosVolunteers, work with refugees fleeing conflicts in places like Syria, Iran, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The refugees live in a camp on the Greek island of Samos, just off the coast of Turkey. There, you can help to instill a sense of normality to both adults and children.
Here, you wear many hats besides teaching English. You might offer tea or fruit at the community center or wash and fold laundry in the only facility available to the refugees.
Pro Tip: If you decide to volunteer with a humanitarian nonprofit overseas, be sure to research the organization thoroughly first. Also, be sure that you’re mentally and physically prepared for humanitarian work!
Now that you’re aware of the many volunteer TEFL opportunities out there, you can get started right away on getting some experience to help you land your dream TEFL job!
All of us here at TEFLPros wish you Happy Teaching!