Volunteer Teaching in Laos
- Placement locations: Vientiane
- Types of schools: High Schools
- Role: Teacher or teaching assistant in English or French
- Requirements: None
- Accommodation: Host families
- Length of placement: From 2 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
Although the educational system in Laos is constantly evolving and the literacy rate among the population is relatively high at 73%, there are a number of struggles that students and teachers face on a daily basis. The majority of schools remain under-resourced and severely disadvantaged, resulting in high drop-out rates and unequal access. There is also a lack of qualified teachers, as many local educators leave Laos to seek better working environments and higher salaries.
As a Projects Abroad volunteer teacher in Laos, you will be able to make a huge difference in the lives of your students and your local colleagues. You do not need to have any formal teaching qualifications, TEFL training, or previous teaching experience to participate. The skills and knowledge you have to offer will help, whether you are a gap year student, career breaker, or simply looking for a worthwhile way to contribute during a vacation.
Our Teaching placements in Laos are based in the capital city, Vientiane. Here, schools follow a Western academic calendar (September to June).
Your Role on the Teaching Project in Laos
English is taught as a second or foreign language in Lao high schools. Unfortunately, students only receive a few hours of English tuition per week and many students do not see the significance of learning English for future employment, which impacts education negatively. In addition, many students lack confidence and are unable to practise their English. The learning strategy and late introduction to the language also makes it difficult for students to improve their language skills.
Your presence in the classroom will be important. You can help students on their abilities in several areas, including reading, writing, and comprehension. Your exact role depends on your level of experience and confidence. You might assist the local English teacher, work with small groups on conversational English, or you could be asked to lead the whole lesson.
One of the main goals of the Teaching project will be for you to motivate the students and give them the confidence to continue learning even when they make mistakes. The students will be eager to learn about your life and culture and you can use this as an opportunity to practice English with them constantly!
Volunteering on the Teaching Project in Laos
If you are interested in teaching subjects other than English, you can get involved in teaching extra-curricular activities such as art, drama, and sports, as well as other academic subjects, like French. The French language is still prominent in teaching and learning material in high schools because of Laos’ history with France. You must be fluent in French to teach the language.
You will also be a great help to the local teachers, as you can introduce new learning methods in the classroom and help them improve their own English abilities.
You can join the Teaching Project in Laos for less than a month if you don't have time to join us for a month or more. This project has been selected by our local colleagues as being suitable for short term volunteering for both the host community and the volunteer. Although you will gain a valuable cultural insight and work intensely within the local community please be aware that you may not be able to make the same impact as someone volunteering for a longer period.