If you have spent the past week talking English but paying for your meals and accommodation, then I’m afraid to say you are doing something wrong. There are places in this world where we can do what we do all day anyway and people will feed us and give us a free bed to sleep in.
These people are called Diverbo and they spend much of their time creating English speaking villages where students can immerse themselves in our vocabulary and idioms.
The English village concept is already quite well known in Spain. Since 2001 this total immersion teaching technique has transplanted a little piece of the English speaking world to rural Spain complete with a temporary populace of native English speakers.
Volunteers have one task only: to talk, and keep talking, in English only. In return for rabbiting all day volunteers get meals and accommodation for the duration of the six day course. Previous volunteers have even taught their students how to drink scotch, all on the dime of Diverbo. Nicely done that volunteer; thinking up that idea. Should there be a demand for it, I’m prepared to demonstrate how to drink ten pints of beer, throw up in an alleyway and verbally harangue a shop window display.
In Germany the programme is called Englischhausen. Here, German professionals are lured to the Black Forest and forced to listen to the babblings of the English, Welsh, Irish, Americans, Kiwis and other native speakers of English. Unable to escape English vocabulary and idioms for a full six days the students are able to improve their English listening, understanding and conversational proficiency.
To qualify as a volunteer, potential ‘Anglos’ should be native English speakers, over 22, with enough life and career experiences to keep talking for up to 16 hours a day. German speakers are generally unwelcome to volunteer but Diverbo do look to mix up their programmes with volunteers from a varied range of backgrounds, accents and age groups.
More information and application details can be found via www.englischhausen.com/volunteer-information.html
More cheap places to volunteer around the world can be found at www.freevolunteerworkabroad.co.uk
Image courtesy Diverbo Idiomas.