A man pointing at a presentation

Philippe uses fun examples

You will be of great use to rural schools if you decided to volunteer to teach English in the Philippines.

There is a strong national emphasis on the importance of being able to speak, read and write English as all good jobs require proficiency in English.

Learning English is incredibly important and getting off to a good start in elementary school is critical.

Unfortunately, many rural elementary schools are overcrowded and lack sufficient textbooks and teaching material. Often, the only classroom equipment available is a blackboard. Children are often squeezed into small classrooms, and most schools do not have a library.

The teachers at these rural schools by and large are capable and are incredibly dedicated. Like teachers elsewhere, they often have to use personal funds to purchase classroom supplies. However, teachers in the Philippines like those in most other developing countries are not well paid and can ill-afford to use their own funds. The low salaries and poor working conditions have led many experienced teachers to quit and work abroad, where salaries are much higher. Some of the teachers you will work with may not be fully proficient in English, even though they have good teaching skills; professional development opportunities are very limited for them. A native English speaking volunteer, who lacks teaching experience, could team up with that teacher to serve as a language tutor.

Most subjects, including mathematics and science, are taught in English. Volunteers who can also teach those subjects as preferred.


Given the dire condition of our rural elementary schools, you will be providing valuable support to overburdened teachers. With respect to the children, most of them have had very little contact with foreigners so they will be very interested in a new volunteer. Filipino students are eager learners and respectful towards their teachers, but like students elsewhere, they will lose interest unless they can be engaged and stimulated by the instructor.

The students have grown up speaking Waray-Waray, the local dialect, and will have to contend with learning two other languages, English and Filipino, the national language, in school. That’s a lot to ask of young children, especially the students in our rural school who have little opportunity to speak Filipino or English outside of the classroom. Your objective should not be to teach the intricacies of grammar; this is something the children can get from their textbook. Your objective should be to motivate the children to learn English. As educators are aware, students can best be engaged when lessons are organized, relevant, challenging, interesting, and interactive, and also when the instructor is enthusiastic, empathic, and encouraging.

Duties will depend on the volunteer’s experience and skill level as well as classroom needs, but may include developing lesson plans, conducting classes, and working with small groups of children. Non-professional volunteers may assume duties as teaching assistants, language models, and individual or small group tutors. It would be helpful if volunteers brought their own instructional aids, such as hand puppets (for interactional skits), flash cards, posters and other lightweight material that can fit in a suitcase.


Project Location: Rural Towns near Tacloban

Cost: $1,190 US Dollars for 4 weeks, $120 for each week thereafter. Find out more about program fees.

Requirements: Minimum age 18

Availability: First week of September –  Third Week of June

Training: Pre-Departure information sent during application process; in-depth local orientation conducted upon arrival.

Project Duration: 4 weeks (minimum) – 6 months (maximum)

Experience: Teaching experience and TEFL certification are preferred but is not required. Native English speakers are preferred; however, non-native English speakers who speak English well and can teach mathematics and science in English are needed,

Activities: Conduct classes with Elementary Grade Children, act as teacher assistant, create lesson plans, assist in English, Mathematics and Science classes.

What is included: What is included: Airport Reception, Accommodation with local host family, 2 meals a day (breakfast and dinner), program orientation, Waray Waray language lesson, 24 hour local staff support

What’s Not Included: International or Domestic Airfares, Insurance or Visa