Volunteer teaching in Thailand is a powerful way that travelers can make a difference while exploring Asia. English is the indisputable lingua franca of the world. It’s the language of international politics, academia, science and business. By establishing a strong grasp of the English language, students in Thailand are able to access greater opportunities in terms of further education and their careers.
Teaching English to Children in Thailand
Unfortunately, the chance to study English with a foreign English speaker is largely reserved for students from affluent families. Less privileged students certainly study English in class, but the focus is on grammar and rote learning rather than speaking and listening. This is why it’s so important that volunteers step up to lend their time and English language expertise in Thailand.
Friends for Asia (FFA) has developed several English teaching opportunities in Bangkok and Chiang Mai. Our volunteers teach English at regular schools, children’s homes and even in Buddhist temples. In every case, we strive to connect volunteers with students who wouldn’t otherwise be able to practice their English with a native speaker.
The following are among the English teaching opportunities for volunteers in Thailand:
Children are usually the most proficient language learners. Their minds are already engaged in mastering the concepts, vocabulary and grammar rules of their first language. This often means that they are primed and ready to learn a second language, too. Add to that the natural-born gift children have for mimicking pronunciation, and you have the recipe for a rich and rewarding – not to mention, fun – English teaching experience.
While FFA does provide teacher volunteer placements in schools around Chiang Mai and Bangkok, we have also found that many of the orphanages, children’s homes and other organizations that work with children are eager for our volunteers to plan a few English lessons as well. With that in mind (and if you are comfortable doing so), those working outside of school settings may still be asked to teach English, especially when working with children.
Thailand Volunteer Teaching Projects
Available in Bangkok
For children this age, school is all about planning activities, building social skills and learning how the world works. So if you plan on signing up for the Kindergarten Teaching Project, prepare to have a lot of fun. During the school hours, you’ll spend your time looking after children aged 3 to 5 in one of Bangkok’s slums.
Available in Chiang Mai
The Friends for Asia Low Cost English Teaching Volunteer Project offers a candid view of daily life in Thailand. Ideal candidates will be keen on getting an inside perspective on a side of the kingdom that tourists and volunteers in bigger cities rarely encounter. In the countryside surrounding Chiang Mai, government schools have little chance of attracting international teachers.
Available in Bangkok and Chiang Mai
A lot of Thai students grow up thinking that their English ability is next to nil. But sometimes, a few confidence-boosting classes with a native speaker – where they’re understanding more than they expected to and communicating right back – is all it takes to change their minds. As a volunteer English teacher, you become a catalyst for student development.
Available in Bangkok and Chiang Mai
Of all the opportunities to volunteer in Thailand, teaching English to Buddhist monks commands the strongest following. Each of our volunteers is assigned to a specific Buddhist temple, where they instruct novice monks in daily English lessons. This sort of candid, behind-the-scenes access to a working Buddhist monastery is difficult to match.
Available in Chiang Mai
Buddhism has always been a catalyst for higher education across Asia and Thailand, and in this assignment, volunteers step into an authentic university setting. The student body is budding Buddhist monks from across Thailand and Asia, fostering a dynamic international atmosphere. This is an ideal opportunity for candidates with an interest in the higher teachings of Buddhism.
Fulfilling Experience of Volunteer Teaching English in Thailand
FFA offers teaching positions in several schools in both Chiang Mai and Bangkok. Being a teacher in Thailand is a rewarding experience. In Thai culture, educators are awarded a high level of respect. The schools at which FFA volunteers contribute their time and expertise are grateful for the contribution.
All over Thailand, the schools that can afford to hire native English speakers as teachers are those that cater for children from middle- and upper-class families. The average foreign English teacher commands a much higher salary than their Thai counterparts, and this places a significant strain on the school’s resources.
That’s why we specifically focus on schools where underprivileged children attend. These schools typically do not have the budget to hire international English teachers. By volunteer teaching English in Thailand with Friends for Asia, you’ll be lending your time and expertise to schools that cannot afford to hire foreign English speakers to begin with. As such, this is a great opportunity to make a difference in the lives of underprivileged children.
Thailand Volunteer Teaching Projects Include Buddhist Monks
This is one of our most sought-after projects, and it’s easy to understand why. Volunteering as a teacher at a Buddhist temple, or monastery, places you right in the middle of monastic life. Novice monks are young men who have become monks for a period of time and for a variety of reasons – some to accrue merit for their families, others to take advantage of the educational opportunities, and still others to pursue a long-term monastic lifestyle. Most of the students come from impoverished backgrounds and will one day graduate to life as a layman.
Volunteer teaching English to monks in Chiang Mai or Bangkok takes you behind the scenes of Buddhist devotion in Thailand. You’ll witness the details of daily operation in a Buddhist temple and enjoy the opportunity to share meals with monks and sit in on meditation sessions and some temple rites.
How English Teachers Change Lives in Thailand
English language instruction is a booming industry in Southeast Asia, and an increasing number of affluent schools in Thailand are adding foreign teachers to the payroll. While it’s exciting to see more people establishing upward mobility by increasing their proficiency with the world’s lingua franca, the fact remains that the chance to study with native-level English speakers still falls primarily to the privileged.
By signing up with one of the Thailand volunteer teaching projects offered by Friends for Asia, you’ll be doing your part to reduce the privilege gap in Thailand. Thanks to you, students from low-income families, broken homes, and other unfortunate backgrounds stand a better chance of acquiring the skills they need to succeed as an adult. Browse our Thailand volunteer teaching projects here on the site, or feel free to contact us for more information.
Thailand Teaching Project Start Dates 2017
- January 9, 2017
- January 23, 2017
- February 6, 2017
- May 15, 2017
- June 5, 2017
- June 19, 2017
- July 3, 2017
- July 17, 2017
- August 7, 2017
- August 21, 2017
- September 4, 2017
- November 6, 2017
- November 20, 2017
- December 4, 2017
- December 20, 2017