Teaching is one of the most rewarding things that you can do, so imagine the feeling that one would feel if you were to teach children overseas that might otherwise be without an education. Volunteering to teach abroad requires a certain type of person who is not afraid to take themselves out of their comfort zone and jump in at the deep end, but it is an experience you can never hope to replicate. All around the world, programmes are held connecting willing volunteers to classes in search of a teacher. If you were to volunteer your services to teach Children abroad, you would do so in one of two capacities. These are either EFL (English as a foreign language) or ESL (English as a second language), but what are the differences?
EFL – English as a Foreign Language
If you were to teach English as a foreign language, this means that you will be teaching in a country where English is not a native language. These are where the majority of teaching abroad opportunities is found. This would work exactly the same way as any languages lessons that you had a school. For example, if you were taught French at a school in England, this would be classed as a foreign language lesson, as French is not classed as a native language in England. In order to be successful, you would need to be able to communicate with your class as, more often than not; your class’s grasp of English will be very basic at best.
ESL – English as a Second Language
Teaching English as a second language will mean that you are teaching in a country where English is classed as a native language. The chances are that you will be teaching younger children than you would be if teaching English as a foreign language. ESL also means that you would not be forced to learn another language in order to communicate outside of the classroom setting as you would with EFL, which does make these positions more popular amongst volunteers.
How long do Teaching Programmes Last?
Depending on who you sign up with, teaching programmes can last anywhere between a few weeks and a few months. Many companies that organise the programmes will include time to travel around the country, as this means that you get to experience more of the country and also become more familiar with local culture.
What Kind of Person Should Teach Abroad?
The type of person that should consider applying for such opportunities is someone that certainly is not afraid to try new things, willing to step out of their comfort zone and has patience with others. If you cannot say yes to all of the above then end your interest here. If the only reason prohibiting you from checking out the numerous fantastic opportunities to experience another way of life is nerves, then fight through them and take the plunge! Of course, travelling to another country to work, even in a voluntary capacity, is nerve-wracking but it is also highly rewarding.
How Else Can you Help?
If volunteering abroad is something that is not viable but you would still like to help in another capacity, why not check out some of the campaigns run by Muslim charities? These campaigns are designed to help children and others in need, around the world providing an education and other necessities that are deprived.
Whether you feel that teaching abroad is for you or not, there is so much that you can do to offer help both at home and around the world.