Volunteer Teaching in Thailand
- Placement locations: Krabi
- Types of schools: Elementary schools, Middle/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 1 week
- Start dates: Flexible
Thailand has a flourishing tourism industry and has been popular with tourists and travelers from all corners of the globe for many years. However, the majority of Thai people benefit very little from tourism, especially in rural areas. Speaking English is a hugely important skill in securing a good job and we are calling for volunteers to teach at schools in Thailand to improve students’ future prospects.
With Projects Abroad, you can give back while gaining practical classroom experience at a Teaching Project. Every teacher will have a valuable role to play at their school, whether they are on a gap year, career break, during retirement, or on vacation. No previous teaching experience or TEFL/TESL certification is required.
Our Teaching Project placements are all based in Krabi, a town situated about an hour's flight south of the capital of Bangkok on the west coast of Thailand.
The start dates for this project are flexible. However, if you volunteer for 1, 2 or 3 weeks, you will only be able to participate in this project between March-May or September-October.
Volunteering as an English Teacher in Thailand
Most of our volunteers work in government elementary schools with children around the ages of 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.
We also offer opportunities to work in middle/high schools with students from 13-16 years old. If you would like to teach teenagers, please let us know when you apply.
Thai students are generally dedicated and hard-working and respond well to the arrival of a new face. Local 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.
Did you know? The Thai government recently made English mandatory for at least one day a week (which day it is depends on the school). This rule applies from elementary to college level classes, and focuses on speaking English instead of traditional instruction & written practice.
The local English teachers are usually good at teaching the grammar and structure of the English language but when it comes to speaking many lack confidence themselves and do not 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 favorite 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.
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.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Thailand Teaching Management Plan.
Volunteering at a Teaching Placement in Thailand with Projects Abroad
In Thailand, you will be 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 planning their classes. 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.
While you’re in Thailand, you might also consider joining a 1 week Conservation & Environment Project. 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.
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...