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Why Is Learning To Speak English So Important?

Posted by Jen King on 10/4/17, 3:04 PM

byu volunteer programs

Traveling abroad and participating in humanitarian programs is the dream! Experience a foreign country and make new friends while also making a difference?

International Language Programs (ILP for short!) is a non-profit org based out of Utah with opportunities for you to live abroad all over the world (take a peek at all of our countries) with other volunteers and make a big difference. You'll be set up with an ILP group of other volunteers so you can spend a semester traveling and making a difference. 

Ready to volunteer with ILP? Apply here!

So how are you needed? Volunteers help by working with cute kids! We have a couple different ways you can help.

  • Teach English to kids in the classroom
  • Volunteer in orphanages, helping with physical and emotional development 

Psst! Did you know you don't need any experience teaching or in the health field to volunteer with us? Sweet!

When most people think of making a difference and doing a service trip they picture volunteering in an orphanage, building houses for the homeless, or stepping in after a natural disaster. All wonderful things.  But have you ever considered teaching English as a service as well?

We have. Our volunteer program is highly geared towards service towards sharing the English language through a natural speaker (like you!). If you were raised with English as your first language, you have a huge skill to share. Here's why.

ILP Adventure

More Opportunities Come To English Speakers

We all know that education in any form opens doors. You have more opportunities when you bring more skills to the table and that is especially true with jobs.

English is the international language. No matter what country you go to, speaking English and speaking it well is a much needed skill that employers are seeking. If you go on vacation in the Dominican Republic, the nice hotel you're staying at is absolutely going to hire locals who speak English as well as Spanish so that they can accomodate you and anyone else who stays there. Not only are more opportunities given to bilingual speakers who are fluent in English, but they'll also receive a better pay. If you teach a child English, you're giving them an invaluable skill that will help them progress and achieve their best life with that education.

This is especially true in touristic countries like Thailand and and spots in Europe. The same goes for the Caribbean in places like the Dominican Republic and Haiti. 

volunteering for a semester in europe

Countries That Speak English Have Better Economies

Better English and better income go hand in hand. Because English has been accepted as the universal language, even if it's not the first language of a country, international businesses work together through English.

Not only does speaking English help the individual, it also helps the economy of the entire country to grow and flourish. More jobs and trade are possible within a country with international business. Helping one truly does help many.

Speaking English Makes International Travel Possible

If you've ever traveled the world before, you'll gain a huge appreciation for the fact that you can speak THE universal language. When I was a volunteer in Lithuania, I went on vacation in Poland.  I missed my bus and really needed help finding where I could buy a ticket for the next bus so that I wouldn't be stranded! I found a helpful stranger but the only problem was he was also a foreigner - from Germany! He didn't speak Polish (which was fine because neither did I). I didn't speak German, he didn't speak Lithuanian...but guess what? We both spoke English - the universal language. 

Travel bridges gaps between cultures. Travel opens your mind to new experiences, new ways of thinking, creates connections, and builds your confidence. Travel changes your life immensely and helps remind us all that despite the differences, we're all in it together. I'm so grateful there's a universal language so that I'm able to travel to places like Cambodia despite the fact that I haven't learned Khmer. Or the fact that I could enjoy the beach in Bali and be safe even though I didn't speak Balinese. I could make local friends while I was a volunteer in Thailand even though the only phrase I knew in Thai was hello. When I went to teach English in China (yes...I've been to a lot of places all because I was an ILP volunteer!), I asked one of the local teachers that I met if she would come visit me in the United States. I told her, "You've always got a place to stay there now that we're friends!" She sort of laughed and didn't even consider it. She said that most people in her country don't travel outside of China and I can't help but wonder if that's because they don't speak English well and it would just be too difficult. It makes me sad that they don't have the same experiences that I'm afforded when I visit another country.

I always make an effort to learn as many phrases in the local language that I can when I'm preparing to travel to a new country, but I'm incredibly grateful that I can get by with English and that communication doesn't stop my experiences.

Hannah went on SIX service trips with ILP - read about them here!

ILP Haiti

This video was created by Dennis Agle who has been such a wonderful contributor to help build up the orphange in Saint-Marc, Haiti. Take a look at why we're so excited to send volunteers (like you!) to help those orphans speak fluent English! 

"Give them the tools to help them lift themselves."

Learning a new language is hard, but learning from a natural speaker (someone who just grew up speaking it) is invaluable. Are you ready for a semester living abroad where you can make a huge impact?

ILP has two programs. You can make a huge difference in both by teaching English or serving in an orphanage, but there is a difference! In our Humanitarian Program you'll be working with kids who are underprivileged and wouldn't otherwise be able to afford the free education you're providing them. In our Exchange Program you'll be working with children who are typically middle to upper class, so you're still making a big difference but it's a bit of a more affordable volunteer program because your student's families help subsidize your costs of going abroad. Learn more about which program is right for you.

Or click below and get in contact with an ILP representative who can answer all of your questions about how to make it possible to serve abroad!

 Text Me! I've Got Questions

Topics: All About ILP + Volunteering Abroad, Teaching With ILP

Exploring The World For Nearly 30 Years

Hi! We are ILP, a non-profit org that has service abroad opportunities for college-age volunteers. We share our tips for making the most of your time traveling and living abroad.

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