The founder of the school, Laura, decided to start this project after having studied different careers and realizing that what she loved doing was teaching English. She felt extremely grateful when she saw what her students would learn and when they recommend her classes. After a few years, in 2009, she had the possibility of opening the institute and to stop giving classes at home, where she was running out of space to teach. Laura decided to connect and work with Voluntario Global because we could help her students connect with people from different cultures so in this way they could learn from others and realize that languages connect people from different parts of the world, whom she believes they would have never imagined being able to meet.
Why is this project important for the community?
This project is important because the institute is located in a working-class neighborhood where learning English can be useful since the majority of the locals would never have the opportunity to speak English or meeting native speakers in their area. The hardest thing is being able to keep up with modern and technological demands and also keeping the students' interest in learning the language and getting to know different cultures. Another difficulty that the teachers face is working on the kids' self-esteem and confidence. Through volunteers, the students have noticed how much they have achieved and how they can use English as a communication tool to be able to exchange their culture and traditions.
Volunteers are expected to assist teachers in class. Courses are delivered from Monday to Friday in the afternoon and Saturday mornings. Students attend classes twice a week and, depending on the course, classes last 60, 75, or 90 minutes. When they reach the last level, namely the 6th year, they are expected to have reached an upper-intermediate or advanced level of the language and to sit an international exam called Cambridge First Certificate. Among the different courses, there are traditional courses of general English, conversation classes, intensive and/or individual courses for adults, school support lessons, and workshops.
The workshops are offered on Fridays as optional activities for students who want to improve their English. They are free of charge and involve conversation classes, talent shows, etc. Also, once or twice a month the teachers working at the institute propose a special class which consists of activities such as cooking, dancing, artwork, music, games, puppet shows, story-telling, and so on. These are designed according to student age and level of language.
What can you learn as a volunteer?
Learning is a two-way street because the volunteer also learns through this experience. Their official duties are to assist classes, help the students with pronunciation or grammatical rules, correct homework, read and explain to the children the basic elements of the language. Moreover, once volunteers are more adapted to the Project, they can prepare and deliver classes. This work allows the volunteer to exchange with people from a different culture and learn about Argentinean traditions. Furthermore, teaching is the perfect exercise to learn how to speak to an audience and to get its attention. The volunteer learns to communicate with the youngest children who don't speak English correctly and can learn how to adapt quickly and use other means of communication. Above all, the volunteer is able to create relationships with their students that will go beyond the classroom.
Soft Skills that teaching English volunteers are most likely to develop
Long term volunteers (3 months +) can get an International Volunteer Certificate from GLORE Certification, a Project co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union. You can choose up to 5 skills to certify.
- Organization and Time Management
- Learning to learn
- Creativity & Innovation
- Comm and Active Listening
- Critical Thinking
- Decision Making
- Ethics and Work Commitment
- Multicultural Awareness
- Public Speaking
- Self Awareness
- Team Work
Monday-Friday, 5:30 pm to 8:30 pm. This project is not available during December, January, February, and for 2 weeks in July as these are school holidays.
Location and first day at work
The institute is located in Ciudadela, a small middle-class town just outside the city of Buenos Aires. You can take the train to get there, which will take approximately 1 hour. On your first day, you will have an informal chat with the director, Laura, where she will explain how the school runs and tell you which classes you can help.
- Valid Passport & Visa: Most travelers do not need a visa to enter Argentina. Volunteers enter the country as tourists and can stay for up to 90 days. Extensions on visas are possible; our coordinators will advise you on this process.
- Medical Insurance: Voluntario Global requires the volunteer to have adequate medical insurance for the duration of the program and must be provided with details of such insurance coverage at the time of confirming their placement.
- Spanish Level Required: Not required
- Minimum Stay: 2 weeks