How to Volunteer to Teach English

Volunteer English teachers are in high demand across the globe.
Volunteer English teachers are in high demand across the globe.
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Take out a world map. Pin it to the wall. Throw a dart. That's where you can volunteer to teach English: anywhere you want. Any country, any continent (OK maybe the penguins in Antarctica don't need linguistic help but you get the idea).

Volunteer English teachers are in high demand across the globe, particularly in Asian and Eastern European countries. Thousands of organizations train and send English teachers abroad. Some require long-term commitments. Others, like Global Volunteers, offer volunteer vacations, short stints during which you can teach English to communities in Vietnam, China, India, Mexico, Peru, Poland, Romania and South Africa [source: Global Volunteers].

The standard Global Volunteer program is three weeks long and costs $2,500 to $3,000 depending on where you go. It's a good way to find out if you'd like to live in a foreign country and teach English for a longer period of time.

If you already know you want to invest a longer stretch of time to teaching English, the Peace Corps is one organization to consider joining. It requires a two-year commitment, plus several months of orientation. The Peace Corps gives you a living allowance that will provide you with the same standard of living as the local people, plus medical and dental care and transportation to and from the country [source: Peace Corps].

Another organization to check out is World Teach, which offers a two- to three-month summer program, as well as longer assignments of six to 12 months in distant locales such as Guyana, Micronesia and the Marshall Islands [source: World Teach]. Volunteers contribute to the cost of their service but do receive benefits, particularly those who volunteer for the longer terms.

You can also make inquiries at local churches and other religious institutions. Many national church denominations offer volunteer opportunities for short-term or longer-term English teaching. Most provide an orientation for their missionaries as well as basic benefits while they're abroad.

Read on to find out how to teach English closer to home.