English Teaching Volunteering Projects in Senegal
- Placement locations: Saint Louis
- Types of schools: Primary, Secondary, University, Adult Evening Classes
- Age of students: 5 - 18+
- Class sizes: 30 - 60
- Role: English teacher or teaching assistant
- Extra-curricular roles: Drama, Science, Sports
- Accommodation: Host families
- Price: From
- What’s included? Food, accommodation, transfers to and from our specified airport, transport to and from work where required, insurance, personal webpage, induction and orientation, 24/7 support
- What’s not included? Flights, visa costs, spending money
- Length of placement: From 4 weeks
- Start dates: Flexible
No Teaching Qualification or Experience Required
Volunteer teaching in Senegal can be done without a TEFL and without any previous teaching experience. All we require are strong English language skills and a passion for engaging with others. Whether you want to get involved with teaching during your gap year, career break or an extended holiday you will have a role to play on one of our placements, and your efforts will be greatly appreciated.
Some Background on Senegal
As a former colony of France, French has long been the language of education, commerce and the media in Senegal. However, with the recent increase in tourism, Senegalese society is realising the benefits of being able to use English too. English is compulsory for Senegalese school children from the age of eleven through to the end of secondary education. Many university students continue to pursue English studies regardless of their degree subject.
The Benefits of Learning English for the Senegalese
There is also great interest among adults - particularly those working in tourism, trade and education, to improve their English skills. With this continued emphasis it is inevitable that the unemployment rate will begin to fall. This will have a positive effect on the many social problems in Senegalese society; half of the population is currently estimated to be living below the poverty line. By giving your time as a volunteer English teacher you will be helping to relieve these issues.
Teaching Placements in Senegal
Projects Abroad places Teaching volunteers in various primary and secondary schools in and around the urban island city of St Louis. This is in the north of the country, around 4 hours from the capital, Dakar. Some of these schools are private and some government-funded.
The schools are normally open from 8am to 5pm, with classes running throughout the day. The children range in age from about 12 to 18 years old with classes of thirty pupils on average. However, sometimes you may find this can go up as high as sixty due to a lack of funds to pay for extra staffing.
Volunteers will be expected to teach around four hours a day from Monday to Friday, with weekends free. In most cases there will be a friendly staff room where you can spend time with other teachers, mark work and plan lessons before and after school.
Your Role on a Teaching Placement
Volunteers who teach at secondary schools will work as a teaching assistant to local English teachers, encouraging the students' confidence in spoken English and helping to plan and teach lessons. Lessons are often based closely on textbooks and a set curriculum, but there is plenty of opportunity for volunteers to develop interesting themes over subsequent lessons and to introduce more creative teaching methods. Students in these classes will be 11-19 years old, and the average class size is 40-60 students.
Volunteers teaching at primary schools will teach independently, as English is not normally taught at this school level. A local teacher will assist as needed. Students will be 5-12 years old.
Volunteers teach on average 4 hours per day, and will be expected to do lesson planning for the remainder of the day.
Past volunteers have taught lessons on subjects as diverse as society, religion and women's rights, and found great enthusiasm among students to tackle such topics. Due to the fact that there are no organisations outside Dakar that offer English tuition outside of school environments, Projects Abroad volunteers are in demand. You may get involved in 'Clubs d'Anglais' in your school, as well as giving lessons to adult learners in evening classes or workplace-based groups.
Volunteers with good French-language skills have the opportunity to teach full-time at the Talibe Centre, offered through our Care placement. Volunteers who choose this option can teach basic French, maths and English to Talibes at this placement.
Whatever skills and talents you have, volunteer work in Senegal will give you the opportunity to put them to good use. Be imaginative with your teaching to make learning fun and enjoyable for the students and yourself!
Involvement in Summer School Classes
The schools take their long summer holiday from the end of June to mid-October. During this time summer school projects are arranged for children who want to take extra classes. The emphasis is on fun and variety and volunteers tend to teach English and a second subject of their choice, which could be sports, drama or science, for example.
You can read more detailed information about the aims of the project in our Senegal Teaching Management Plan.
Interested in other volunteering opportunities? What about teaching in South Africa?