Teaching English Abroad

Having completed my TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) qualification before we left, I was very keen to get some classroom practice whilst we were travelling. Colin couldn’t wait to give it a go as well.

A local language school in Bocas del Toro was asking for volunteers to assist in the classroom, for English lessons they offer to locals free, twice a week.



We went along on the first Thursday & unfortunately no students arrived. Undeterred, we came back the following Tuesday. To our surprise one of the Spanish teachers asked us for a lesson, so we ended up teaching 1-1 rather than assisting.

We ended up teaching five lessons, each very different with varying age groups & levels of English.

Update: Boquete

We went to the same language school in Boquete & they virtually ‘bit our hands off’ when we volunteered.

They wanted us to teach 3 times a week, which was great with us.
The group sizes were much larger there, with much more local interest, & people who came back every night.

There were people working in the tourist industry, as well as school children who preferred our interactive style; better than how they are taught at school (according to their feedback).


It was really sad to say goodbye & hand them over to new teachers (who included a German, French & Austrian).

We are hoping that we are able to continue teaching English as we move on through Central America, especially in Nicaragua.

post by: Dawn


  1. Sounds like you two are having a fantastic time. Must be great fun teaching English to such a range of people and really rewarding, Keep the updates coming and enjoy the rest of our travels. Lynne

  2. Glad to see that your travels are going well! I randomly stumbled across your blog after seeing your Corn Islands photo that Lonely Planet tweeted. I”ve left Bocas and am back in the US now but was glad to read that you were able to teach at Habla Ya Boquete as well. Safe travels to both of you!

  3. […] 1) Ask around in the place you are visiting. We asked the local tourist offices & they pointed us in the direction of NGOs & charities. Colin was pointed in the direction of Comunidad Connect in San Juan del Sur & ended up photographing the Local Junior Baseball League for the charity newspaper.   2) Look for language schools, if you are looking to teach English. To give something back to the local community, they often run free English lessons for the locals. We visited Habla Ya in Bocas del Toro, then Boquete Panama & taught English in the evenings for a total of 5 weeks. See: Teaching English Abroad […]

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