WHY we need you in the Philippines
HOW can you help?
WHAT you can do?
Why Involvement Volunteers International?
PROJECT NAME: PRIMARY ENGLISH TEACHING
LOCATION: TACLOBAN, LEYTE
START DATES: 1st WEEK SEPTEMBER – 3rd WEEK JUNE (SAT/SUN ARRIVALS)
ACCOMMODATION: HOMESTAY (PRIVATE OR TWIN SHARE)
MIN DURATION: 4 WEEKS
MIN AGE: 18+
SPECIAL REQUIREMENTS: Teaching/ TEFL experience & fluent English speakers preferred, but not required.
In the Philippines good jobs require proficiency in English, so the ability to speak, read and write in English is very much encouraged and important from a young age. Teaching children English language from a young age can dramatically improve their chances and opportunities for a better job later in life.
Unfortunately, many rural primary schools in the Philippines are overcrowded, lacking adequate textbooks and teaching resources. Most will not even have a library. In the classroom, there is usually just a simple blackboard. The classes can often be cramped with children squeezed into small classrooms.
The local teachers, whilst understaffed, are incredibly dedicated, often buying school resources from their own pockets. They do this even though a teachers wage in the Philippines is very low, so therefore put themselves at risk by spending what they don’t have. This can often lead these teachers to move abroad, where they can earn a higher wage and a better work-life balance.
By volunteering at the schools, as a native English speaker, you will not only help the students in learning the language, but the local teachers too. Whilst they have good teaching abilities, many are not fluent in English themselves. By working with them, they can learn more about the English language, and perhaps some new teaching methods too. You will work together with the local teachers.
As well as English, you can also teach mathematics, science, history, music, arts, and sports if you wish.
Many of the children have not had too much experience with foreigners, so this is also a great experience for them to interact with someone from another country and to learn about your culture. They are very eager to learn and enthusiastic children, however they are still of primary age, so teaching classes using engaging activities is vital to keep their attention!
The students have grown up speaking Waray-Waray, the local dialect, and will also learn English and Filipino, the national language, in school. However, they have little opportunity to speak Filipino or English outside of the classroom.
The volunteer work will focus less on grammar and more on conversational English, and generally getting the children excited and wanting to learn English. They should be aware of the opportunities it may bring in the future.
Volunteers with teaching experience will have a greater role such as lesson planning and leading classes. For those who do not have too much experience, you will be able to work as a classroom assistant or taking small groups, or individual tutoring.
Any teaching equipment is welcome as the school is lacking in things such as flashcards, pens, pencils, posters, etc.
Tacloban is approximately 360 miles from Manila. It’s the capital of the Province of Leyte and has a population of 275,000 people. The city offers international volunteers an opportunity to be immersed in a unique Asian culture, which is at least partially left untouched by Western Culture, especially in the rural areas. In November 2013, Tacloban was one of the most devastated areas of the Philippines when Super Typhoon Yolanda (Hayian) ravaged through the Philippines; therefore, the city and surrounding areas now present an even greater range of opportunities for international volunteers. Tacloban is easily accessible by air from Manila or Cebu through daily flights offered by Philippines Airlines, Cebu Pacific, and Zest Air.
- Teaching assistent or leading a class (English or other subjects if desired)
- Creating lesson plans
- Tutoring teachers in English as well as the students
Food & Accommodation
At the core of your experience is the friendly and warm accommodating local home stay, who have been accepting volunteers for over a decade. Life inside a homestay is not only safe and cost effective, but is also a great way to contribute to the local economy and to experience the true nature and culture of the Philippines. All homestays have electricity and running water.
You will have a private room by yourself or shared with a fellow volunteer. Mosquito net, electric fan, bed linens and door lock are also provided. The bathroom will be shared with the family and will be basic with cold, bucket baths (hot running showers are uncommon in Philippines) as it’s so tropical and warm! All home stays are English speaking. The home stays have been thoroughly evaluated before being accepted into the program and have been in operation for several years. You will be able to experience the Filipino culture and participate in the daily life of a local.
Breakfast and dinner are provided but volunteers will need to buy their own lunch which costs approx 50-80 pesos. Access to filtered drinking water will also be provided by your home stay. All meals will be served with rice and typically include fish, chicken or pork. Home stays can cater for special dietary restrictions, however we require advance notice so we can place you accordingly.
- Medical Clinic Internship
- Street Children Support
- Boys Youth Rehabilitation
- Women's Welfare
- Primary English Teaching
- Special Needs School
1 Week - N/A
2 Weeks - $1100
3 Weeks - $1220
4 Weeks - $1340
8 Weeks - $2220
12 Weeks - $3100
1 Day Orientation
24/7 In-Country Support
Project Materials & Equipment
Pre-departure Expert Advice
Preperation Tools & Checklists
Certificate of Completion
If you are enthusiastic about working with children and love to pass on your knowledge and skills, then yes! These schools have limited resources, so using initiative and being creative will serve you well on this project.
- 2 meals per day (breakfast & dinner)
- Arrival airport transfer (Sat/Sun arrivals)
- Filtered drinking water, coffee & tea
- 1 day orientation
- Daily transportation to project
- In country 24/7 support & emergency assistance
- Fundraising support
- University course credits (where applicable)
- Certificate of Completion
- Travel Insurance
- Tours, Souvenirs & spending money
Your first day will consist of comprehensive overview of the program including what to expect, health and safety, introduction to Filipino culture and introduction to staff and fellow volunteers. A guided city tour is also included for Tacloban placements.
Programs begin every Monday, and volunteers are required to arrive the day prior, for orientation before the project. Your accommodation on the Sunday is included in the program fees.
A free airport pickup is included when arriving to Tacloban airport before 6pm on the Sunday before your project.
Working hours are generally 8am to 12pm, although this can vary.
Beaches of Boracay
This small island is known for its outstanding natural beauty, and pristine white sand beaches. White beach stretches for 4km and is a popular place to visit. There are plenty of cafes and nightlife, including fire throwers and live music at the bars.
Bohol Chocolate Hills
Take a visit to Bohol island, around an hour from Cebu, and check out the 1200 hills of all shapes and sizes. This stunning natural formation is quite a sight. You can hike or take an ATV ride up the hills.
The Philippines have many amazing dive spots, and some of the most pristine water in the world! With plenty of fish, coral reef and even whale sharks, this is a divers heaven. You can even learn to dive here.
Twin Lagoon on Coron Island
You may have seen images of this spectacular beauty spot online- and it doesn’t disappoint! As well as some incredible diving, you can also explore some stunning viewpoints, secluded beaches, or go on a boat tour around these turquoise blue waters.
For those who love adventurous activities, why not try ziplining?! Check out the stunning one on El Nido, with beautiful views over the beach. It’s 750 metres and will give you that adrenaline kick for sure.
There are plenty of gorgeous places to kayak in the Philippines, and it’s secret lagoons are some of the best spots. Paddle your way through the stunning rock formations and crystal-clear waters.
This very pretty town has a Hispanic heritage that is evident as you walk through the artsy cobbled streets. Vigan town is on the island of Luzon and is a great weekend trip, with museums, cafes, workshops and quirky sights. For photographers, you can get some pretty shots at dawn, when the town is empty.
Underground River, Palawan
Puerto Princesa is a beautiful river that goes underground, through impressive limestone caves. Book a boat tour to take you through the caves.
The capital city, Manila is a hustling and bustling place, with plenty of culture. Be sure to check out the museums, art galleries, old buildings, cafes and bars.
Teaching experience and TEFL certification are preferred but 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.
The Philippines consists of more than 7000 islands and is a land apart from the mainland of Southeast Asia. The people are, simply, Filipinos – and proud of it. Welcoming, warm and relentlessly upbeat, it is they who captivate and ultimately ensnare visitors.
Islands are jungle-clad, mountainous and flanked by aquamarine waters and a world renowned coral reef. But you’ll find plenty of variations on this theme, from marooned slicks of sand in the middle of the ocean to sprawling, overpopulated mega-islands like Luzon and Mindanao.
About half of the Philippines’ 88 million people live in rural areas. Poverty is most severe and most widespread in these areas and almost 80 per cent of the country’s poor people live there. Agriculture is the primary and often only source of income for poor rural people.
Overall, more than a third of the people in the Philippines live in poverty. There are substantial differences in the level of poverty between the regions and provinces and the poverty gap between urban and rural areas is widening.
November to April is the most popular time to visit the Philippines, as this is when there is the least rainfall.
June to October is wet season and November to May is usally dry. Shoulder months can be a great time to travel as you can still get some good weather but there are less crowds. The island weather can vary, so it’s worth checking the weather for which islands you will be visiting at which time of year.
The Philppines has a big Latin and Spanish influence, due to the previous Spanish rule. Evidence of this can be seen throughout the Philippines. The Filipino people are very welcoming, like to have close family bonds, and getting together with friends and family to eat, sing and dance. They are also very religious and most go to church at least every Sunday.
Filipino people have a great respect for thier elders, saying the phrases ‘po’ and ‘opo’, when speaking with thier elders. They love a good party and festival, particually Christmas which they can celebrate right into the second week of January!
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