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Volunteer Overseas

English Teaching Volunteering Projects in Sri Lanka

Project Overview
  • Placement locations: Coastal towns within 2 hours of Colombo
  • Types of schools: Primary, Secondary, Temples, Community Centres
  • Age of students: 3 - 16
  • Class sizes: 15 - 40
  • Role: Teacher or teaching assistant (English)
  • Extra-curricular roles: Music, Sports
  • Accommodation: Host families
  • Price: From Loading...
  • What’s included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, transport to and from work where required, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
  • What’s not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
  • Length of placement: From 4 weeks
  • Start dates: Flexible

No Prior Teaching Experience Required

Sri Lanka's schools require volunteers to develop their students' conversational English abilities. You can help without any previous teaching experience and we don’t ask you to do a TEFL course. You can volunteer with Projects Abroad during your gap year, career break or extended holiday, and you can be sure of having an important role to play, working alongside students and colleagues who value the time that you give to them.

Some Background on Sri Lanka

For schools in Sri Lanka, the increasing popularity of the country as a tourist destination over the last decade or so, combined with its economic progress, has made learning English a priority. English-speaking volunteers are very much in demand.

Teaching Placements in Sri Lanka

A volunteer helps one of his students in a classroom in Sri Lanka.

We work in schools outside Sri Lanka's capital, Colombo, located in small towns along the western coast within a couple of hours drive from the capital. Some of the schools are close to the beach; some are even based in temples.

The temple setting offers a beautiful, tranquil environment where you will teach English to monks of all ages. Through working here you'll gain a fantastic insight into Buddhism, meditation and a totally different way of life.

Most volunteers teach students aged from about 10 to 14 years old and the majority speak Sinhalese as their first language. They will often be able to speak some English but your focus will be to develop their confidence and fluency. If a student is able to understand and speak confidently to their English teacher it is a real step forward, and your continued presence will also increase the local teacher's confidence in their own language abilities.

The Sri Lankan school day runs from 8am to 2pm, and is broken down into eight separate 40-minute periods. Those who volunteer in Sri Lanka as teachers are expected to teach for about 18 hours per week, so most volunteers teach around four periods per day, and spend the rest of the time marking and preparing for the next day's lessons.

Your responsibility will primarily be to encourage children to practise conversational English. Their English lessons will often have given them a good grounding in the basics of the language - the grammar and the vocabulary - so you may find that they make progress very rapidly. You will see the delight on their faces as they start to communicate more easily with you and this provides an immense satisfaction in the work you are doing.

Participate in Extracurricular Activities

Two volunteers stand together in a classroom in Sri Lanka, Asia.

If you have skills in other areas please let us know when you apply. Many schools are keen for volunteers to help with extracurricular activities, such as music lessons and football coaching.

Who knows - you may find yourself setting up a drama club for a group of eager students or helping older students with their maths studies. The more you can tell us about yourself when you apply, and in further conversations with our Sri Lankan staff, the better we can find the right placement for you.

If you have qualifications or experience in this field then we can make use of your skills. Read more about the opportunities for skilled volunteers in Sri Lanka.

Participate in Teaching Workshops

A volunteer teaches young monks in a classroom in Sri Lanka, Asia.

Our team in Sri Lanka organise regular workshops for all Teaching volunteers. The workshops will provide you with a greater insight into the educational system in Sri Lanka and the background of the placement where you’re working. You will also receive advice and suggestions regarding activities to carry out at your placement.

Participate in Our IT Project

If you have an interest in IT then you could teach some basic computer skills on our IT Project in Sri Lanka.

You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Sri Lanka Teaching Management Plan.

Interested in other volunteering opportunities? What about teaching in Thailand?

Sri Lanka Teaching Management Plan

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