Volunteer from the comfort of your home and bring a smile to left-behind and rural children in China!
- To increase students’ interest and confidence in speaking English
- To help students improve their English test scores
- To optimize students’ access to higher education (i.e., high school and university) and work opportunities in the future
- To connect communities and promote responsible high-impact volunteering
Beneficiaries: Left-behind and rural children and young adults.
Locations: Schools and community centres in rural areas including Henan, Hunan, Anhui, and Yunnan.
Teaching English – Online
Overview: Volunteers teach English through the internet to left-behind children in rural China between the ages of 6 and 15, providing an efficient and sustainable way of reaching more disadvantaged groups in remote areas. Class sizes vary depending on the program, but are generally small (around 10-15 students).
Time commitment: 2-3 hours per week (including lesson preparation time) and a minimum of one school term (3-4 months). Volunteers are responsible for delivering one or two 40-minute lesson(s) per week. Teaching schedule is flexible based on volunteers and students availability. Volunteers living overseas can also sign up! Classes are mainly from Monday to Friday, either in early morning, lunch time or evenings (China time zone). Limited classes are available on the weekend.
Requirements: Fluent or native level of English; interest in communicating the English language to new learners; 16 years old and above; Must attend the Videolink training session organized by Stepping Stones; technically competent; Good oral Chinese skills a plus but not essential.
- Register as a volunteer by clicking on the “Sign Up” button below
- Complete Stepping Stones Online Orientation
- Submit a statement of interest (for volunteers aged 16-18)
- Attend an interview
- Attend an online training session after matching volunteers’ availability with class time
- Start volunteering!
Please note that our Autumn 2019 programs are now full. Prospective volunteers are encouraged to register now to volunteer in Spring 2020.
For more information and questions regarding this program, please email our Videolink Program Manager, Sherry Jia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1. Videolink Demo Class (Fengxian, Shanghai)
2. Videolink Demo Class (Guangde, Anhui)
“When I was approached to be part of this new, innovative scheme to provide children in more remote parts of China with English lessons taught by native speakers, I didn’t hesitate. I had loved teaching with Stepping Stones when I lived in China and now my week would provide me with forty minutes where I felt like I was back there.
I knew teaching via videolink would be challenging at times but any problems that arose were not insurmountable. The biggest challenges were the variable Internet speed and not being physically present in the classroom to move amongst the students. The Internet speed varied from week to week. Some weeks there were no problems, whilst at other times there was a sound delay, which meant I needed to adapt my teaching to allow for this. Like all classrooms where I have taught in China, the students were eager to learn and well behaved. They sat in the same seat each week, so by having a seating plan on the wall above my computer, I was able to get the attention of any students I felt were becoming distracted.
Each week, Ross at Stepping Stones provided me with a PowerPoint lesson. This formed the basis of my lesson. I found the student’s attention was highest when I was on full screen, so I added real objects to illustrate teaching points and used a small white board for incidental teaching or to play games. My lessons were revision of work already taught by the school’s English teacher. I found the students knew the content well but needed practice with pronunciation. This improved greatly over time along with the student’s confidence in participating and interacting with me.
I have enjoyed this experience very much. It can be challenging, and you need to be adaptable, as you don’t have the same control over all the variables as you do in the classroom. It has been wonderful seeing the beaming smiles of the students as they arrive and leave our virtual classroom.” – Nola Clark, videolink volunteer, Fengxian, Shanghai.