Teach English on an IslandThailand

The government schools provide free education for children aged 4-12 years from the local areas.

The Teach English on an Island project runs additional English classes alongside local teachers lessons. Each class is fun, engaging and aims to inspire the children to love learning English! This passion for learning and increased English skills help local children to gain access to better jobs and further education.

Stay in a beach resort on the beautiful tropical island of Koh Phangan and explore the neighbouring islands of Koh Tao and Koh Samui in your free time.

Join the team to teach English in local schools.

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Key Info

key info
  • Location: Koh Phangan
  • Start dates: Throughout the year
  • Duration: 6 weeks
  • Age requirement: 18+ (groups also welcome)
  • Availability: Spaces available
  • Cost: From £1395 / €1535 / $1730 - see fees table below
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Project Information

Volunteer role: What will I be doing?

Volunteers live and work on the beautiful island of Koh Phangan, teaching at government schools for children aged 4-12. The students are taught English by Thai teachers in a traditional style, with more emphasis on reading and writing than on speaking and listening and so conversation skills tend to be weak. Your lessons will help the children to develop their language skills; including learning the alphabet, sets of vocabulary, basic verbs and tenses and other simple structures.

The emphasis of the lessons is to get the students speaking. The lessons should be as fun and engaging as possible, inspiring the children to love learning English!

Lessons will vary depending on age and ability but may include:

  • Interactive learning games
  • Arts and crafts
  • Listening or conversation practice
  • Games and songs - the children love karaoke!

To help you prepare for these lessons and get to know your local area, during your first few days on the island you will have:

  • A day trip to discover some of the island of Koh Phangan
  • An introduction to Thai language and culture
  • An overview of your teaching placement

Teaching experience is not a requirement, but you can choose to do a TEFL Course before you go which you may find helpful for gathering resources and building your own confidence in teaching English.

“Many jobs on the island are now in tourism so a good level and confidence speaking English is vital. The teachers and pupils at the schools love having volunteers since they help improve their English skills and share new games and ideas with them.”
Eiu, Volunteer Coordinator

Typical day

On your first Monday you will be taken to on a tour school, meet the Thai teachers, observe lessons and during your first week you will be given a timetable for your teaching. 

We work with a number of schools on the island, some are an easy 10 minute walk from your accommodation and require transport. Daily transport (by private taxi) if required to and from the schools is included in the cost of the placement. 

You will teach from Monday to Friday for approximately 2 hours per day and each day you will normally spend 1-2 hours planning and preparing for your lessons. The school day starts at 8.30am and finishes at 3.30pm. On your day off there are a variety free time activities for you to get involved in.

Other volunteers

There are usually 2-6 volunteers with a maximum of 6 volunteers, but this varies throughout the year and there is a chance you may be the only volunteer working alongside the local teachers. During lessons you may work with a Thai teacher, but you will usually have classes to yourself and depending on the volunteer group you may teach on your own, a pair or a group with other volunteers. 

Child protection

Pod is fully committed to safeguarding and promoting the wellbeing of children and vulnerable adults - please see our Child and Vulnerable Adults Protection Policy.

All volunteers are required to have a criminal records check, which we will arrange with you.

Local support

You will be supported by Eiu who is the volunteer coordinator and owns the resort you will be living in and lives on site. She is a fantastic chef so make sure you sample some of her delicious Thai dishes! 

Accommodation

Volunteers stay in a beautiful beachside resort in Sri Thanu, on the north-west coast of the island. Volunteers have their own ensuite room. There is a restaurant at the accommodation that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Teaching on an Island bedroomThe resort also has a pool, WIFI, a TV area, space to relax and watch the sunset over the sea, and is close to shops and bars.

Teaching English on an Island accommodation

Meals

Meals are not included in this placement. There is a restuarant at resort and on the nearby beach as well as town markets which all have a large range of western and asian cuisine including the following options: 

  • Breakfast – fruit, cereal, smoothies, toast, pancakes 
  • Lunch and dinner – noodles, curry, stir fry, pizza, salads, pasta, burgers 

There are vegetarians and vegans options available. 

You can buy drinking water at your accommodation and at local shops.  

Location and free time

Off the South East coast of Thailand there are three populated islands; Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao. Heading north from Koh Samui, Koh Phangan is a dramatic mix of dense jungle and hilly terrain in its interior and granite outcrops and beaches along the coast.

A popular destination for backpackers and travellers, Koh Phangan has plenty of facilities to make it a comfortable and exciting place to live. Responding to the demands of tourism, parts of the island have developed quickly, but it still keeps its natural feel and has a strong Thai community. Koh Phangan is a laid back, friendly and fun island with an atmosphere that means people usually stay a lot longer than intended!

Koh Phangan

The volunteer placement includes:

  • An island tour (visit to a Chinese temple, waterfall and beach) 
  • Evening trip to the local night food market 

In your free time you can enjoy the beautiful island environment and its many beaches! An evening’s entertainment might consist of eating and having a drink on the beach or watching an English-speaking movie being shown in one of the bars. 

There are also lots of activities to do on the island such as Thai boxing classes, outdoor aerobics at the pier, Thai cooking classes, yoga and even a gym! Or you could spend your free time relaxing by a swimming pool or having a traditional Thai massage.

Travelling in Thailand before or after your placement

Thailand is often referred to as the ‘land of smiles’ and is a huge attraction for travellers from around the world due to its glorious beaches, tropical climate, great food and fascinating culture. Thailand has something to offer everyone and popular activities that you might like to combine with your volunteer project include:

  • Scuba diving around the famous island of Koh Tao
  • Visit the beautiful waterfalls, wildlife and limestone cliffs of Khao Sok National Park
  • Exploring the tranquil mountains in the North and meeting ethnic hill tribes
  • Visiting the many colourful and ancient temples  

For more information on Thailand and some of the things we loved when we visited there please see our Thailand country page. This also features all our other Thailand volunteering projects as you might like to consider combining this project with one of the others we offer to make a trip of a lifetime!

Thailand temple

Climate

The island of Koh Phangan has a tropical climate and throughout the year it is hot with temperatures generally between 25-33 degrees Celsius. There can be tropical rain showers at any time of year but the main rainy season is from October to December. 

Dates

2019: 5 Jan, 25 May, 20 Jul, 2 Nov

2020: 11 Jan, 23 May, 25 Jul, 7 Nov

What's Included

Included

  • Dedicated Pod Volunteer Specialist to support you
  • Transfer to / from Koh Phangan ferry port
  • Accommodation - your own room in a beautiful beach resort!
  • Daily transport on teaching days (where required)
  • Induction to your school, timetable and syllabus
  • Thai language and culture training
  • Activities: Koh Phangan island tour, night food market visit
  • Pod polo t-shirt
  • Thai SIM card for your mobile phone
  • Support from the local team
  • Support from the Pod Volunteer UK office by phone and email
  • 24/7 emergency back up
  • Volunteering certificate and reference (on request)

Not included

  • Flights and travel to Koh Phangan
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa
  • Criminal record / police check
  • Vaccinations and medication
  • Living costs - food, snacks, drinks, laundry
  • Any tourist trips / activities you choose to do in your free time
Price table
6 weeks £1395 GB Pounds

Discounts

  • £150 per person discount for friends / partners sharing a room
  • £75 discount for every additional project you book as part of the same trip
  • £100 discount for any family members who are under 18
  • £75 discount if you have previously volunteered with Pod Volunteer 

Where the money goes - financial transparency

Your fee covers the overseas costs of volunteering and the costs of running our organisation in the UK, on a non-profit basis.  For more details and a breakdown of our costs please click here.

Book with confidence - financial protection

All monies paid to us are financially protected through The Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust Limited (ABTOT). 

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Fees in currencies other than GBP are indicative only and volunteers are invoiced in GBP. For current exchange rates please see www.xe.com

Read volunteer reviews from the Teaching English on an Island project

Lucy – 2019

“It was one of the best experiences I had so far in my life. They were some of the most joyful, creative, kind, and smiley kids I have ever had the pleasure of knowing and seeing them every day put a smile on my face. 

The Thai teachers were so kind and fun to be around and make sure to include you, help you, and make you feel welcomed. The entire trip, from teaching the most amazing kids to getting to explore the absolutely beautiful island of Koh Phangan, is unlike any other and a once in a lifetime opportunity.”

Kay - 2019

"For me this was an amazing experience that I will remember for the rest of my life. I was nervous initially at the start of my Volunteering period. However within a few days of attending the school I soon found my feet. Teacher Ann was so lovely and supportive it made everything so much easier.

In fact everyone was so grateful for anything that you did for the children it was so rewarding. The children were very enthusiastic and very keen to join in the lessons I gave. It is fascinating working alongside Thai teachers and observing there culture first hand. ."

Alessia – 2018

“The volunteering on an island project was amazing. The accommodation was very nice, I had a big bungalow all for myself.

I taught together with another volunteer at the school near our resort so we could walk along the beach to get there. The teachers at the school were very welcoming and Teacher Ann guided us through the project and answered all of our questions. 

After school we had enough free time to discover the island since the school days lasted from 2 to 3 hours. All in all it was an awesome experience that I'll never forget. I recommend this project to everyone who is interested in working with children and who loves sun, beach and working in teams.”

Rudi - 2017

“I had the most amazing time in Koh Phangan teaching in one of the local primary schools! 

Eiu is fantastic and will do absolutely anything for you. She makes you feel very at home. I have the best memories from working in the local primary school. The children are just amazing and Teacher Anne was so lovely and I have fantastic memories from it all. The farewell ceremony at the end of this placement is probably one of the most touching experiences I've ever had.”

Read more reviews

450

children taught additional English each year

"It was an amazing experience that will stay with me forever! Pod Volunteer provided the ideal amount of support and guidance"Satvinder

Gemma

Pod UK Specialist

Gemma has visited the project, apply and you'll hear from her soon!

We look forward to receiving your application! There is no commitment by applying and we will send more information.

Apply

VOLUNTEER REVIEWS

  • Thailand Teach on an Island – Abi

    “I had a fantastic, life changing time, definitely recommend to anybody with an interest in teaching! I definitely found the whole experience very rewarding. When a lesson goes to plan it's an awesome feeling!”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Thailand Teach on an Island – Faye

    “The most amazing experience and I am so happy that I plucked up the courage to do it. By the end of the experience you feel like and are treated like a local and really respected within the community.”

    Read more volunteer reviews
  • Thailand Teach on an Island – Simona

    “If you are thinking of volunteering abroad then look no further. I had a fantastic experience... I loved the place so much I've stayed! The project is excellent. The island is fantastic. Thoroughly enjoyable 6 weeks.”

    Read more volunteer reviews

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AWARDS AND ACCREDITATIONS

  • Tourism Concern
  • Association of Bonded Travel Organisers Trust
  • Right Tourism
  • DOFE
  • theguardian
  • the independent
  • Sunday Times
  • Year Out Group
  • Best Volunteering Organisation
  • Wall Street Journal