How To Find Volunteer TEFL Jobs
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If you are a newly-qualified TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language) teacher, it can sometimes be difficult to find a job. Usually employers want someone with experience. But how can you get experience if no one is willing to give you a job? Finding volunteer TEFL jobs is a great way to get around this Catch-22.
Volunteer agencies understand that you are volunteering and so often do not require experience and, in fact, often offer on-the-job training. At the same time, volunteering opportunities are usually in communities where there is a need for English teachers but also a shortage. This may be because the school is in a remote area or the students cannot afford to pay for the lessons, so the positions are not as attractive to experienced TEFL teachers who are looking to make a living, or live in a thriving metropolis.
But they’re great if you’re looking to gain some valuable experience as you’ll be given lots of responsibility. Even better, research has shown that volunteering makes us happy!
What is a TEFL Volunteer?
A TEFL volunteer is a TEFL teacher who works in a volunteer TEFL job.
In other words, they teach English language learners, but their positions are unpaid. Most of the time, TEFL volunteers are given a stipend to cover living costs, or they are provided with board and lodging.
So while TEFL volunteers are not paid for their work, their living costs should be covered while they are volunteer teaching.
How can I become a TEFL volunteer?
The question is, then, how do you find out about these volunteer TEFL jobs?
The first place to look is in your community. No matter where you live there are bound to be volunteer teaching opportunities near you, but you just need to find ones related to teaching. Perhaps in your community there is a large number of immigrants or refugees who come from non-English-speaking countries and need to learn English to improve their circumstances in the country. Try find a centre that gives help and advice and find out if they offer language lessons. Chances are they will be free to the students and so they will need volunteer teachers. Adult education centres are usually a good place to look as well, as they could be in a similar situation.
Read more: Teaching English To Refugees
Local universities may enrol a number of foreign students and you could offer your services as a private tutor to these students. If you make it clear that you need to gain experience and so you are able to offer free lessons or lessons for a very low rate, most students will be more than happy to take you up on the offer.
Even though it may not be a classroom teaching situation, it will still be practical teaching experience. If possible, you could even offer free lessons to a group of students in a public place like the local library (always a good place to find students), in order to gain group teaching experience.
Volunteer TEFL jobs abroad
If you wish to go further afield, you will find volunteer teaching opportunities are advertised through the same channels as paying jobs. Many agencies or organisations that need volunteers will put adverts on the regular job sites in the hopes of finding teachers.
If you can’t find a job through those, there are loads of agencies that will place you in a position. This is definitely the easiest route because you simply specify what you are looking for and the agency will do all the work involved in getting you there, but it comes at a price.
People find it odd to be paying to volunteer but you are usually paying for flights, accommodation and possibly even a living allowance. Essentially, too, you are paying for the agency to organise the whole experience for you.
Having a volunteer TEFL job is a great opportunity to get some valuable experience and give back to a community as well. Even though it may be difficult to spend time working for no salary, we think you’ll find it worth your while in other ways.
The TEFL Academy gradaute volunteer story
Andy is from the Lake District in England. For his first teaching position he signed up for a volunteer TEFL job in Siem Reap, Cambodia. This is what he had to say about his experience:
The school was like no school I had ever seen. The playground was made from orange/red dusty sand. The school was simple but had certain beauty at the same time. It had no walls, more like a nicely engineered wooden shed with a whiteboard at the front and no walls. Next to the school was a pagoda where the local monks lived and a tall ancient temple. He asked me if I wanted to see where I would be living? We took about a 5-minute walk, through a couple of rice fields along a dirt track until we reached what was the village.
I wasn’t sure what to expect about teaching Cambodian children but my classes ranged through 4 classes from age 8 to age 18. We would begin class at 8am and finish teaching at 6pm with a 3-hour siesta/lunch break in the middle of the day.
The children were adorable and so hilarious. They would laugh at everything I did, even if it wasn’t supposed to be funny. The older students would ask to take selfies with me, probably to show their mates what a cool teacher they have (I hope!)
I found the Cambodian life fairly easy to withstand. I’ll admit sometimes it can be hard to ensure eating noodles for breakfast followed by rice for lunch and rice for dinner every day, but at the end of the day, that is the way it goes. Overall the food which was cooked by the wife of the family I was living with, was delicious. Apart from the time I found a chicken’s foot in my soup but again, that’s the way it goes.
I feel that volunteering in a developing country like Cambodia, will not only be much needed help for these sorts of countries but also the perfect, no-pressure environment to practice your new teaching skills. Win/Win basically.
Interested in changing your life (and others’ too) and signing up for a volunteer TEFL job? Head to the website to find out more information about the volunteer TEFL jobs we have on offer.
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LAST UPDATED: 19th July 2022
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Rights concerning the processing of your personal information
- Right to restrict processing of personal information
- In some situations, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of your personal information. We may restrict your personal information by temporarily moving the information to another processing system, making the information unavailable to users, or temporarily removing published information from a website. We may also use technical methods to ensure the personal information is not subject to further processing and cannot be changed. When we have restricted processing of personal information, this will be clearly indicated on our systems.
- You can require us to restrict processing in the following circumstances:
- You are concerned that the information we hold about you is inaccurate. You can ask us to restrict the information until we can determine whether the information is accurate or inaccurate.
- We are processing your personal data unlawfully and you do not want us to delete the information but restrict it instead.
- We no longer need the information for the purposes for which we collected it, but they are needed by you for the establishment, exercise or defence of legal claims.
- You have objected to the processing (see below), and we need to decide whether the legitimate grounds we have to process the information override your legitimate interests.
Processing you think is unlawful
- If you tell us that you think we are processing your personal information unlawfully, but you do not want the information to be erased, you have the right to require us to restrict the processing of that information.
- We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the processing is unlawful, and may also ask that you provide evidence to support this view.
Processing of personal information you think is inaccurate
- You can tell us if you think the personal information we are processing about you is factually inaccurate. You can require us to restrict how we use your personal information until we can verify the accuracy of the information. We will ask you for an explanation about why you think the information is inaccurate, and may also ask that you provide some supporting evidence of the alleged inaccuracy.
- If we find that the personal information we are processing about you is inaccurate, we will take appropriate steps to correct the information.
Personal information is no longer needed by ELEARNING FUTURES LTD but needed by you in connection with a legal claim
- In most circumstances, we will securely delete or dispose of personal information when we no longer need it for our legitimate business purposes. Our approach to retention is outlined in our corporate retention schedules.
- However, if the personal information we no longer need would assist you in establishing, exercising or defending a legal claim, you can require us to keep the information for as long as necessary. We may ask you to provide an explanation and any available supporting evidence that a legal claim is ongoing or contemplated.
Right to erasure of personal data (“the right to be forgotten”)
In the following circumstances, you have the right to require that ELEARNING FUTURES LTD securely deletes or destroys your personal information:
- If the personal information we hold about you is no longer necessary for the purposes for which we originally collected it.
- The processing is based on consent – if you have previously given your consent to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD collecting and processing your personal information, and you notify us that you withdraw your consent. Please note: withdrawing your consent does not mean the processing of your personal data which occurred before the withdrawal was unlawful.
- We are processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes, and you want us to stop.
- If you think ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has processed your personal information unlawfully.
If you think any of the above situations apply, we may ask you for an explanation and further information to verify this.
Right to object to processing
You have the right to object to the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD processing your personal data in the following circumstances:
Personal information used for direct marketing
If we are using your personal information to send you direct marketing, you have the right to object at any time. If you exercise this right, we will stop processing your personal information for direct marketing purposes. However, we may keep your information on a “suppression list” to ensure your information is not added to any marketing lists at some point in the future.
Automated decision making and profiling
- ‘Profiling’ is the automated use of personal data held on a computer to analyse or predict things that have a legal effect, or other similarly significant effects, on the individual. Examples would include economic situation, health, personal preferences or interests and location. You have the right not to be subject to a solely automated decision (that is, a decision made electronically, with no human intervention), and this may include profiling (although there is no general right to object to profiling). If you are concerned the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD has made a solely automated decision about you, you can object.
- Please note, ELEARNING FUTURES LTD is allowed to carry out automated decisions with no human intervention where you have given your explicit consent to this processing (although you have the right to withdraw your consent).
- We are also permitted to make automated decisions with no human intervention in the following circumstances:
- The automated decision is necessary to enter into, or perform a contract, or complete a contract involving you and the ELEARNING FUTURES LTD.
- The automated decision is allowed under a law passed at the European Union level, or at the level of the European Union or EEA member state level (i.e., is allowed under national law). The law will provide safeguards to protect your rights and freedoms.
However, you still have a general right to object in both of the above circumstances, providing reasons why you think the processing is having a negative effect on you. If you do object, we will carefully consider your reasons, and decide whether to review the decision-making process in your specific case.
Right to data portability
- If you have provided your information to ELEARNING FUTURES LTD, you have the right to request and receive a copy of that information in a structured, commonly used and machine-readable format.
- You also have the right to ask us to send the information we hold about you to another organisation.
- There are some situations in which the right to data portability does not apply. For further information, please contact us.
Exercising your rights concerning the processing of your personal information
If you wish to exercise any of the above rights concerning the way in which we process your personal information, please contact:
Risk Management Team
ELEARNING FUTURES LTD,
21-22 Old Steine,
Email: [email protected]
Your right to complain to a national data protection regulator (data protection supervisory authority)
- If you think we have processed your personal information unfairly or unlawfully, or we have not complied with your rights under GDPR, you have the right to complain to a national data protection regulator.
- Complaints about how we process your personal information can be considered by the data protection regulator.