Teaching volunteer

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As a teaching volunteer, you will be joining our education programme and providing English speaking, reading and writing support, as well as helping refugees prepare for the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) exam in Birmingham, Greater Manchester or London.

Contact [email protected] for more information, otherwise visit our FAQ page.

I have taught Beginner, Intermediate, Conversation and 1 to 1 classes at Breaking Barriers. I enjoy the variety and I am continuously amazed at the spirit in which the students come to class.

Renee - volunteer English teacher

Our courses

  • Courses include: English for Work (Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced), Business English, IELTS, Conversation Café and bespoke one-to-one classes  
  • Class sizes are small, around 8-10 students  
  • We can provide curriculum outlines, although these will often need to be adapted to suit students’ needs 


  • TEFL/CELTA or teaching degree
  • Courses take place in Birmingham, Greater Manchester and London, and online via Zoom


  • Courses can take place during the day or on weekday evenings depending on teacher availability  
  • Face-to-face classes are usually 2.5 hours long
  • Online classes are usually 1.5 hours long
  • Courses last between 4-8 weeks  
  • Depending on experience, volunteers can start as a teaching assistant before leading their own course.  

Other roles 

  • Curriculum development: we are always looking for volunteers to help develop our lesson plans and courses  
  • Ad-hoc support: this may involve feedback on academic writing, support with IELTS mocks and running one-off workshops 

Benefits of Volunteering

  • Provide refugees with essential skills, supporting them to integrate into their communities and find work or access further study  
  • Gain experience delivering English language courses, including IELTS, at a range of levels  
  • Take ownership of your own course, with the opportunity to write your own curriculum and develop new courses  
  • Comprehensive induction, including safeguarding training
  • Meet other like-minded volunteers  
  • Access to lesson plans and sector resources provided by Breaking Barriers where needed  

Hello friend!

Would you like to join our education volunteers?

Apply now

Meet our volunteers

Meet our volunteers


Renee has been volunteering with Breaking Barriers on our education programme as an English teacher.

Have more questions?

We have a dedicated page to help answer any questions you might about volunteering in Birmingham, Greater Manchester, or London. If you still can't find what you're looking for, please contact [email protected].

Volunteering FAQs