You may have hundreds of questions like what do I need for teaching? Can I do it? How hard is it to get trust of children? We may not answer all of your questions, but here is some basic information for you to have an idea.
What should be my English level?
It’s okay to be a non-native speaker. If you can pronounce properly, it’s half of the work done. And local teachers will help with the rest.
The problem in Cambodia, like in many countries, is that local English sounds very differently from official British, American or international English. And it may happen that Cambodian people studied something like Cambodian English. And later they don’t understand a thing from native speaker.
You don’t need to be a professor of English studies, as long as you’re able to speak fluently in everyday situations. Practical English is what children need the most, actually. Sometimes they don’t even understand a question in past tense, so there is a lot of work ahead of us.
Do I need teaching experience?
We don’t need any diplomas, you don’t need to attend teaching schools and we’re not checking your past experience. We believe that attitude is even more important than experience.
Of course we’d like to welcome skilled teachers with international experience but more important is that you want to make a difference, that you really want to make children lives a bit better. And enjoy yourself on the way.
Schools are unequipped so don’t expect much of reading or games material. If you can, bring your own materials or improvise instead ????
How many days are relevant?
Cambodian children are lovely but very shy. They respect the authority of a teacher in such way that it takes some time for them to open completely. To make a difference, we recommend to reserve one month for volunteering ideally.
In that way you can make real impact on their English level as you’ll get the chance to know them more — not only their language level, but also their trust and openness to learn something new. You’ll also have more opportunities to teach really important things like everyday English and hygienic habits.
The problem with short-term volunteering activities is that everybody starts with body parts song and children switch themselves to “automatic mode”. It’s definitely better than nothing as they at least practice to understand spoken English, but we want to do better.
How does typical week look like?
School operates from Monday to Friday. You can of course create some weekend activities for children or join other volunteering events. You can of course take a break from teaching and explore rural surroundings of the village or enjoy the city life of Siem Reap. It’s probably better portrayed by one of our volunteers.
Which schools are in the program?
We support 2 very different schools near Siem Reap. The first is a public school Sras Srang in the temple complex and the second is Khmer Independent Life Team (KILT) school focused on better life opportunity for orphaned children.
Sras Srang Basic School
Sras Srang is actually government school, but those usually lack English classes and they have very little support from the government. It’s located in the famous Angor temple complex where more than 700 children study every year.
Orphan school in Mondul village is much different than public one — there you can teach between 12 and 20 children every day. Read a story about a founder in our KILT article.
How much would it cost me?
$50 per week to cover food costs. And you can of course stay in our Oasis Capsules Hostel! We’ll give you discount 50 % off the accommodation price for your volunteer stay. Our guests say that our price is unbeatable even before that kind of discount. You’ll get there easily by bike every day.