Lesson Plans for Diverse Classrooms: A Guide for Volunteer Teachers Abroad!

Volunteering to teach abroad is embarking on a fantastic adventure, full of diverse cultures and eager-to-learn students. But hey, creating lesson plans for such a mixed bag of learners can be a bit tricky. No worries! Have a read of this post with practical tips and exciting classroom activities.

Get to Know Your Super Diverse Class

Imagine your classroom as a colourful puzzle, each student a unique piece. Start by chatting with local teachers and students to uncover the quirks, traditions, and things that make each student special. You might even turn this into a lively icebreaker activity where everyone shares something unique about themselves. Often is volunteer abroad placements you will get kids f all ages in the same class, or of very different abilities. The trick is to keep them all occupied, so have some harder work prepared if some students finish the classroom activity faster than others.

Students in front of class

Spice it Up with Cultural Flair

Inject some local flavour into your lessons! Whether it’s teaching math through traditional games or storytelling using local legends, adding cultural elements not only makes learning exciting but also shows your students that you appreciate their roots. See if you can get the local teacher to translate f needed so the students understand.

Mix and Match Learning Styles

Each student is different – some love to read, others are hands-on adventurers. Mix up your teaching style! Throw in visual aids, hands-on experiments, and group discussions. The longer you volunteer for, the more you will get to know your students and how they best learn.

Language Fun Time!

Language barriers? No problem! Create language games like ‘Word of the Day,’ where students teach each other a word from their language. It’s not just about learning English; it’s about celebrating the linguistic rainbow in your classroom.

Team Up for Learning Adventures

Break the classroom routine with collaborative learning adventures. Create small teams and assign them challenges like ‘Design a Dream School’ or ‘Plan an Imaginary Trip.’ It’s not just about learning; it’s about teamwork and creativity.

_Participants and students in the classroom, IVI volunteer

Phan Thiet College

Flexibility: The Classroom Superpower

In the world of teaching, flexibility is your superhero cape. Embrace unexpected twists and turns in your lessons. If a topic sparks unexpected interest, go with the flow! Maybe your students discovered a hidden passion for science during a geography lesson – nurture it!

Ask the Local Teachers for Tips

Local teachers can assist you in your teaching and know the students well. Seek their advice and let them in on your ideas. They might have fantastic tips, activity suggestions, or even local phrases that could add an extra sprinkle of magic to your lessons.


Classroom Celebrations

Who doesn’t love a good party? Celebrate small victories, birthdays, or cultural holidays together. Share traditional snacks, play music from different cultures, and let your classroom be a place of joy and celebration.

Conclusion: Your Classroom Adventure Awaits!

Teaching abroad is your chance to be a classroom superhero, inspiring students and creating a memorable learning experience. By getting to know your diverse class, adding cultural flair, mixing learning styles, embracing language fun, offering adaptable assignments, encouraging teamwork, being flexible, seeking local advice, and celebrating together, you’re not just teaching – you’re creating an adventure that your students will remember forever.

So, put on your superhero cape, grab your lesson plan notebook, and let the fun teaching journey begin! Your diverse classroom is waiting to be amazed and inspired by the awesome lessons you have in store. Let the teaching adventure begin! 🌍

For more tips on classroom activities, see this post: https://volunteering.org.au/blog/11-awesome-tefl-esl-games-for-teaching-kids-abroad/

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