English Language Teacher in Peruvian Public Schools

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Otra Cosa Network
Otra Cosa Network Published: October 12, 2015
Non-native English teachers are welcome to apply
No experience necessary


In Peru, as is true all over the world, the ability to speak English opens many doors and broadens ones horizons. With English, people have the opportunity to study abroad, to work with tourists or even to work abroad. For privileged Peruvian children whose parents can afford a private school to learn English from an early stage, there is no issue. However, state-run schools and their students are not as lucky, as the government does not have enough money or skilled teachers to offer the same opportunities.

Huanchaco Education and Learning Programme (HELP) is dedicated to advancing the education possibilities and resources for the lower income children and adults in Huanchaco and the surrounding shanty towns as well as a number of remote locations in northern Peru. HELP English was developed in 2011 with the objective of providing opportunities for local children to access volunteer-led English classes free of charge.

Without the HELP English programme, many children from low income families in and around Huanchaco would not otherwise have the opportunity to study English, as government schools do not have the funds required to resource and staff English classes, and most families are not able to afford private tuition. HELP English aims to address this problem by providing cost-free opportunities for locals to learn English, working in partnership with schools and other settings to help as many learners as possible. For many, the HELP programme is the only way to access English and its potentially life-changing empowerment.

That is why we seek to employ volunteers with a fluent level of English language control to help us provide equal education opportunities by consenting to work with the children without charging money.

As a volunteer your role will consist of leading the English classes, where possible this will be done together with another volunteer. At present, the general level of English of our learners across all schools and settings is basic, and it is important that volunteers are prepared to be teaching students or learners who will more than likely be at a beginner level. Generally, volunteers will work with classes once or twice a week, and the length of lessons is usually around an hour, but can sometimes be shortened or extended depending on other activities of schools and settings. Depending on the volunteer's preference, time tables can range from one to five days of teaching per week.

The class teacher will usually be there in the classroom with you but normally not participating. Depending on which class you teach the assistance you will receive from the teacher will vary.

Specific tasks include a combination of the activities listed below:

  • Giving English lessons to children (sometimes there is also a demand for Arts or Sports classes).
  • Bringing new ideas to improve the HELP English project.
  • Preparing lesson plans or even a syllabus or study programme for your subject, considering what’s been done in the past and what can be improved now.
  • Guaranteeing that all the materials used during each session are stored and put back into place afterwards.


Schools we teach in:

Las Lomas and San Carlos: primary schools located in shanty towns a few minutes away from Huanchaco

Maria del Socorro: public primary school in the centre of Huanchaco

Yanasara: Yanasara is a remote mountain village, situated two hours from Huamachuco in the province of La Libertad. The school doesn't have enough money to employ well qualified teachers and there is also a problem of finding teachers who are willing to work in the mountains. As a result the primary and secondary schools in the village are understaffed and the children do not receive much English language education. That is where you can help out! It is important to note that the school staff in Yanasara do not speak any English, so you will need to feel confident enough to communicate with them in Spanish only.

The schools are open most of the year (from March to mid-December). School hours are Monday to Friday - in the morning (8am until 1pm).


  • Age 18+ on arrival
  • Basic to Intermediate Spanish level when you start working - we can arrange Spanish courses for you to start on arrival, which can boost your Spanish before you start volunteering.
  • Minimum commitment: 2 months
  • Empathetic, responsible, pro-active and strong enough personality to deal with unexpected situations and ask for help when necessary.
  • English language fluency
  • Empathetic, responsible, pro-active and strong enough personality to deal with unexpected situations and ask for help when necessary.
  • Good team player.
  • Ability and/or confidence to deal with streetwise children.
  • Certificates and/or former experience are not mandatory

Materials needed to Apply

If you think that you match the qualification requirements listed above and are interested in working with Peruvian children, please contact us via email. Our staff team will be happy to answer any further questions. You can also check out our homepage (otracosa.org) and facebook profile to get more information on our work in schools, and on other projects we are currently engaged in (many of our volunteers combine their teaching posts with other Otra Cosa positions).
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