As a volunteer teaching English in Ecuador, you will provide additional support to local teachers across the schools in Quito. Not only this, PMGY’s Ecuador volunteer programs provide a great foundation to improve your Spanish. Incorporate English language lessons with historic influences of indigenous culture as you teach English in Ecuador.
TEACHING VOLUNTEER PROGRAM HIGHLIGHTS
PROVIDE ASSISTANCE TO LOCAL TEACHERS IN THE CLASSROOMS OF QUITO
GAIN TEACHING EXPERIENCE WITHIN A STRUCTURED SETUP
ENGAGE WITH CREATIVE & INSPIRED SECONDARY SCHOOL STUDENTS
ENJOY THE LOCAL CULTURE WITH SALSA CLASSES & ECUADORIAN CUISINE CLASSES
EXTRAORDINARY TRAVEL OPPORTUNITIES TO THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS & AMAZON JUNGLE
BACKGROUND TO THE TEACHING PROGRAM
Based on Global view, Ecuador has a very good school system. The education system is recognised as one of the most developed in South America. Ecuador requires all school-aged children to attend classes until they achieve a basic level of education.
This is not just focussed to mainstream education. The government and local organisations have improved the quality of education for special needs students across the nation. There are now programs from pre-primary to professional studies for over 30,000 students with special needs.
Within mainstream education, the public school system has a high level of enrolled children reflecting that government requirements are met. Unfortunately, the level of participation in high school ages (15+) has decreased over the years, particularly in rural communities.
Education is provided by the government for primary and secondary public students. However, families are facing significant additional costs for extra classes and transportation. Due to this, many are not able to continue into higher education. As a result, they do not have the ability to speak English properly. Finding work in more prosperous areas like the tourism industry becomes ever more challenging.
The private-school system tends to have extended student involvement. Consequently, this then provides the necessary requirements for higher education levels such as university or training courses. Many of these institutions are run by churches requiring courses in religion along with maths, science, Spanish and other languages. There is an increasing number of private and international schools that offer courses in English, but the spaces are limited.
Volunteer opportunities provided by PMGY offer a platform to make a positive impact when you teach English in Ecuador. When working at our volunteer teaching English abroad projects in Ecuador, it is important to maintain energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Many of these students will benefit from having someone who is fluent in the English language teaching them in Ecuador. As a volunteer teaching English in Ecuador, you will need to donate your time and skills effectively. This is to ensure you can maximise your impact on the local people.
PMGY Volunteer in Ecuador using their weekend to head to Quilotoa Lake during their volunteer abroad program
PMGY Volunteer in Ecuador visiting the cathedral in Quito during their volunteer work in Ecuador
PMGY Volunteer in Ecuador taking in the views from Pichincha Volcano on their volunteer abroad program
TEACHING VOLUNTEER PLACEMENT EXAMPLES
The Federico Gauss Secondary School – A typical classroom setting, Federico Gauss Secondary School displays many cultural influences of indigenous beliefs. More specifically, it is a private institution school that applies indigenous beliefs alongside an artistic curriculum. The project teaches young adults with slight behavioural issues or misconduct in the public or private school setting.
The classrooms are in group settings of 8-24 students based on their ability (ages 12-18). Courses can include general maths, science and English, while arts are very important including computer science, media and history. The teaching program lasts from 8am-12pm. Yet, there are many opportunities to join in the afternoon for tutoring as the school day finishes typically at 2pm.
The project’s top priority is to improve the level of English of future generations of Quito. Many of the people in the schools in Ecuador take English from primary school. However, this is constructed with a very basic curriculum including minimal vocabulary and limited verbal skills. Most primary schools are understaffed leaving children without a proper understanding of the material to move forward in their education.
As a volunteer in Ecuador, you will work with the teachers during the class schedule. This incorporates helping to prepare classes, assist with marking, tutoring students and interacting during class breaks. There is a sports yard at the school where volunteers can help with physical education activities.
Those with experience in media or computer science may have opportunities to educate and assist the students learning in this area. More specifically, this includes supporting with film assignments by instructing interviews, broadcasting or equipment used while recording.
If volunteers want to provide assistance with software then the school is always in need of such support! Examples of this include helping with Microsoft office and video design or simple lessons about the use of a computer. The students love to expand their knowledge of the arts in any area when you are teaching in Ecuador.
This is the most common and structured placement where PMGY volunteers teach English in Ecuador. This is because volunteer feedback suggests that participants feel most useful and productive when working at this teaching project.
The Instituto Mariana De Jesus – A school for special needs students, classes at the Instituto Mariana De Jesus are specialized for blind and deaf children. More specifically, volunteers provide local staff with assistance in language skills, sign language, occupational skills and training for family members.
Students that are deaf or blind will engage in activities that further enhance their other senses. This allows students to express themselves in an appropriate way to caregivers. Activities that the deaf children are involved in are story strips, jigsaw puzzles and visual diaries. Children that are blind are encouraged with activities such as texture matching and braille. All of these activities require volunteer assistance.
The daily routine is essential for many of the children within this institution. Your assistance in the school is greatly appreciated by both the teachers and parents. Volunteers will be involved with groups of 1-4 children based on their level of need. The tasks may include one-on-one assistance for classroom projects and educating children in general education.
PMGY Volunteer teaching English in Ecuador playing board games with students in Quito
PMGY Volunteer teaching English in Ecuador about numbers on the classroom whiteboard
PMGY Volunteer teaching English in Ecuador assisting students in the classroom during their volunteer work in Ecuador
YOUR VOLUNTEER ROLE & TYPICAL TEACHING DAY
Volunteer work in Ecuador involves supporting the local teachers during the class schedule. This involves helping to prepare classes, tutoring students and interacting with them during class breaks. We expect volunteers to spend an hour or two each day preparing for lessons if requested by the teacher.
For volunteers teaching English in Ecuador, the projects are typically quite well resourced. If volunteers feel basic supplies are not easily available they are encouraged to speak to our local team. The team will then do their best to support where possible. If volunteers are wishing for additional resources, there are some great shops in town. The teaching program typically lasts from 8am-12pm on a Monday-Friday basis. However, there may also be opportunities to join in the afternoon for tutoring.
If you are up for it, take a 45 minute walk through the heart of Quito to reach your English teaching volunteer placement! Alternatively, you can take a 25 minute bus ride to reach your English teaching project. The bus stop is located nearby to the volunteer accommodation. Furthermore, the local team will assist you in learning the routes to your volunteer project. As a result, you will be acquainted with how to get to and from your volunteer project. The cost of the bus ride is around 0.25 USD.
PMGY Volunteer in Ecuador standing at the Equator monument in Quito during their volunteer abroad program
PMGY Volunteer in Ecuador exploring Quito’s main square at night after their volunteer work abroad
PMGY Volunteer in Ecuador exploring volcanoes and nature trails after their volunteer work in Ecuador
OTHER THINGS TO CONSIDER TEACHING CHILDREN IN ECUADOR
Experience – For the English Teaching program, teaching experience is not essential as the mere presence of a native English speaker is invaluable. As long as you are creative, determined and resourceful you can have a constructive impact on the development of the children’s education.
TEFL Course – We encourage volunteers to prepare as much as possible for their teaching program overseas. You can make the most out of your time by completing our convenient, inexpensive and international accredited 60 hour Online TEFL Course. The cost of this course is only 120 USD.
Spanish Requirements – As for all our volunteer in Ecuador< programs, we recommend that you speak basic to intermediate Spanish. The programs only require you to speak a basic level of Spanish. However, we find that the ability to speak a good level of the Spanish language will greatly enhance your overall experience. This is because English is generally not widely spoken. So if you do not speak a reasonable level of Spanish then you will find it difficult to communicate. As a result, this could lead to a more frustrating experience. PMGY also offer Online Spanish Lessons that you can take before your trip. These are priced at 249 USD for a 20 hour Spanish course. The lessons provide you with the opportunity to receive one-on-one classes from a trained Spanish teacher. Classes are held via Skype and can be worked around your schedule back in your home country. We also offer a learn Spanish in Ecuador program which you can take part in prior to your volunteer placement. This provides you with 20 hours-per-week of group Spanish lessons. Both of these options can be added during our online application process. They are highly recommended if you want to make the most of your volunteer placement.
Once you are in-country then you are also able to organise additional Spanish lessons directly with our local team. Volunteer feedback suggests that it can often be tiring to complete Spanish lessons at the same time as your volunteer programs in Ecuador. Consequently, we generally recommend extending your Language Immersion Program.
Project Requirements – Ecuador is definitely a destination that needs your time. The projects that you are joining will be schools, nurseries and hospitals. They require your project commitment and as a result, all participants are expected at the project Monday-Friday. Some projects are walking distance and other projects will require public transportation.
There is an option to miss a maximum of 3 days and go to the Amazon or the Galapagos Islands. However, this will need to be arranged in advance. If volunteers are ill, this will require notification in the morning. Furthermore, the request of the project is that they are provided with a doctors note. The team will explain further the expectation of the coordinators and projects during orientation.
Weekends – Your project work in Ecuador runs from Monday-Friday and weekends are free. You are welcome to relax and hang out at the volunteer accommodation but most participants will use this time to travel and explore the country. As a result, you can check out our Ecuador Weekend Travel Guide for top tips on how to spend your weekend.