Community Volunteer Projects in China

You are a valuable resource as a volunteer in China. Global Volunteers' unique philosophy of service ensures your work projects help advance the host community's current development vision and goals. Always serving at the invitation and under the direction of host community partners, each Global Volunteers team member works alongside local people. Our long-term commitment to work in partnership on sustained community development projects enables you, in just a short time, to serve as a critical link in a chain of lasting community enhancements.

View a volunteer video on China community projects.

English Teaching: In Xi'an, you'll teach conversational English skills to eager students in elementary, secondary and university classrooms. You'll often teach alongside a Chinese English teacher, but you may also be asked to tutor small groups of students and explain English lessons. You can adapt the classes to your own teaching style, whether or not you have professional teaching experience. This is an opportunity to use your creativity in new ways! We provide a teaching guide to help you with lesson plans - and you'll teach individually, with a partner, or perhaps in small groups. The abilities of the students vary from team to team, and from year to year, but all are enthusiastic about learning the "language of commerce, opportunity, and the internet." Chinese students especially enjoy lessons from native English-speaking teens and young adults!

Teaching Teachers: In Kunming, you can help train Chinese teachers of English in a "staff development" program run by Kunming University - working with the same group of teachers for the full 2-3 weeks.  The teachers come from elementary, middle and high schools in Kunming and the surrounding prefectures. They range from young new teachers to experienced teachers who have taught for many years. For many of these teachers, the conversations they have with us are their first extended experience with native speakers of English. Traditional Chinese teaching of English concentrates on grammar and writing needed to pass examinations.  The conversation groups meet in the mornings, mostly, with the afternoons used for special activities with the teachers and preparation. (Please note our host in Kunming has set an age limit of 80 for volunteers on this program.)

"More than teaching English, we're engaging the students (teachers of English) in conversations and activities that interest them - and model the use of the language. For instance, we might talk about students' family trees, or songs, dances, and games. By immersing them in an enjoyable English-only environment, we hope they find some activities valuable enough to use in their own classrooms. In this way, we extend friendship to the Kunming teachers - using English as a vehicle."
~ Jim May, 5-time Kunming volunteer

Chinese teachers of English want to make their lessons engaging and relevant.  This is where we come in. Volunteers bring with them their very best ideas, resources, and so on, with the idea of sharing these with the entire team, and work with a partner on presenting lessons adapted from all resources.

"Through lively conversations, by teaching songs and dances and games, by discussing what life is like in America, and so on, we hope that we will help them return to their classrooms with slightly improved English and new ideas to use in their classes, but most importantly, renewed enthusiasm for their job as teachers. The community hosts in Kunming are exceptional in their support of Global Volunteers and the volunteers. Bao Li is a wonderful team leader. The teachers that we teach are eager, cooperative and charming. The province of Yunnan is fascinating with its ethnic minorities, its mountains and rain forests and rice paddies. The hotel is comfortable and tries hard to please - its location makes it easy to explore Kunming. There’s always something new to see or experience every time you walk out the door. I think I can guarantee that volunteering in Kunming will be an experience not to be forgotten." ~Esther Schak, 4-time China volunteer

Child Care: You're also needed to care for children with autism, cerebral palsy, and Downs Syndrome at a privately funded special needs children's school. You can work as an assistant to the local teachers in the school activities and training,and help the staff learn conversational English. Read on about the La La Shou Education Center. Watch a video where volunteer Ken Budd describes working with children at La La Shou Special Education Center in Xi'an.
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