Why do voluntary ESL teaching?

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Once you have qualified as an ESL teacher, you’ll no doubt be keen to start working and earning some money; this is only natural, but have you ever thought about doing any voluntary ESL teaching?

Voluntary ESL teaching could be your first opportunity to get some experience of working overseas: you’ll get the chance to work in Africa, Asia, South America, and Europe – and even in some exotic out of the way places; in fact, as a volunteer ESL teacher: there is a good chance you’ll find a job in the country of your choice.

You’ll be working exactly like your paid colleagues: you’ll have the same duties and responsibilities, and you’ll get the same benefits of working and enjoying the culture in the country of your choice; however, you won’t receive a salary: but all travelling costs, medical insurance, and a small allowance are included.

The majority of voluntary postings are to Third World countries in Africa, Asia, and S. America, which also means you’ll also get the chance to work in some exotic places such as Mexico, Kenya, and the Philippines. By working in these countries, you’ll be providing a ‘social service’ for the benefit of people who do not have the means to learn English: your contribution will have a life-changing effect on them and their communities; indeed, you’ll also benefit from the wonderful sensation of knowing that you have helped those who are substantially less well off than people in your country.

Whether you work for the VSO (Voluntary Services Oversea) or some other organization, you should always remember that you are providing a service that is greatly appreciated and desperately needed by the people of the country that you are teaching in because nowadays, a good knowledge of the English language is a necessary prerequisite in a large number of occupations.

In addition to the charitable work that you’ll be doing – you’ll also get some great firsthand experience of teaching abroad: whether you are a gap year student hoping to train as an ESL teacher or a novice ESL teacher, this is a wonderful way to get some valuable experience. After two or three years of experience, you’ll be able to apply for those more attractive and well-paid posts that you couldn’t apply to before – because you didn’t have the necessary experience.

As an ESL teacher you have it in your power to help people who are less fortunate than people in your country: help them to realize their dreams; do some voluntary work. It will make you feel good to know that you have done something good for others because life isn’t just about making money and selfishly enjoying yourself.

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