Volunteer Teaching in Thailand
- Placement locations: Krabi, Ao Nang
- Types of schools: Elementary schools, High schools
- Age of students: 7 - 16
- Class sizes: 12 - 40
- Role: Teacher (English)
- Requirements: None
- Extra-curricular roles: Sports
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 4 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
With Projects Abroad you can gain practical work experience volunteering as a teacher in Thailand without the need for a certification or previous teaching experience. Whether you are volunteering during your gap year or summer vacation, or as a career break or a worthwhile vacation, you will have a valuable role to play on one of our Teaching projects while experiencing Thailand differently than a typical traveller.
Thailand has a long and well-deserved reputation as a country popular with tourists and travellers from all corners of the globe. However, the majority of normal Thai people benefit very little from the tourist dollars entering the country. Speaking English is now a route to better jobs and by volunteering as a teacher in Thailand you can help to improve your students’ future prospects.
Most of Projects Abroad’s teaching placements in Thailand are situated in the towns of Ao Nang and Krabi and the surrounding region. Krabi is situated about an hour's flight south of the capital of Bangkok on the west coast of Thailand.
Volunteering as a Teacher in Thailand
Most volunteers work in government elementary schools with children aged from about 7 to 12 years old. The schools vary in size, from small sub-district schools up to much larger schools with more facilities. On average there are between 20 – 30 students per class, but some schools may have classes as small as 12 students and others have classes with up to 40 children. It is also possible to work in a high school on request; here the children will be from about 13 to 16 years old.
Thai students are generally dedicated and hard-working and respond well to the arrival of a new face. Thai culture ensures that they are especially respectful to teachers in general. The younger children enjoy the fun elements that our volunteer teachers often inject into lessons, especially activities like songs and games.
The local teachers are often good at teaching the grammar and structure of the English language but when it comes to speaking many lack confidence themselves and won’t have good pronunciation skills. As a volunteer teacher, you can help to fill this gap by focusing on speaking and developing the confidence of the students.
The older students are often eager to find out about North American culture and you should take advantage of this to encourage them to develop their English skills with you. They will ask questions about where you are from and your favourite sports. A popular lesson may be teaching a class how to sing one of the latest pop songs you all know and helping them to understand the lyrics. However, this age group will be working toward set exams and you will often have a curriculum to follow, so you may also get asked some less-exciting grammar questions from time to time.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Thailand Teaching Management Plan.
The students’ improvement in English was slow but very rewarding and gave me a feeling of being useful as well as providing me with a positive approach and outlook toward my work… Having had such an amazing teaching experience, I have now realized how fun and rewarding this type of job can be. Read more...
You can also help by teaching other subjects alongside English. Depending on your skills and interests, you could get involved in organizing extra-curricular activities such as art, drama, music, sports, and more.
Volunteering at a Teaching Placement in Thailand with Projects Abroad
Teaching volunteers in Thailand are expected to be at school from about 8.30am to 12.30pm. You will usually be formally teaching for between about 2 and 3 hours a day, plus most volunteers spend another 8 to 10 hours a week lesson planning. In many Thai schools you will often lead the class, which is why planning ahead is especially important. However, in some schools volunteers work more closely alongside the local teachers.
Even if your first class of the day does not start till 9.30am it is important to be at the school in the morning to take part in singing the national anthem and respecting the flag. When you are not teaching a class you can be planning lessons, grading work, and getting to know the other Thai teachers.
The schools in Thailand have their main vacation from about mid-March to mid-May, with a shorter break from the start of September to the start of November. During these times we organize a variety of vacation programs including basic English lessons, fun educational activities in Krabi, and adult English classes in the local community.
Our Teaching Coordinator in Thailand runs workshops every two weeks for all the Teaching volunteers to share ideas and cover useful teaching techniques. All Teaching volunteers also receive an introductory teaching workshop before their first lesson, which will familiarize you with the Thai teaching system and cover some useful cultural information.
All volunteers participating on standard projects in Thailand have the opportunity to spend one week on a Conservation & Environment project at the end of their main placement. For more information, please visit our Diving & Marine Conservation & Environment Project in Thailand page. Our Combinations Page explains how you can combine not only projects, but also destinations.