English Program–Afghanistan

AIWR is currently running the English Program in Afghanistan in partnership with the Kandahar Institute of Modern Studies.

The Technology

The English Program uses Skype (www.Skype.com) to provide two live English conversation classes per week for each student. Skype offers free computer-to-computer phone and “chat” features that allow students and teachers to speak with each other as well as write instant messages at the same time. The English classes have a one-to-one student-teacher pairing so that each student gets the optimal amount of practice and attention from her teacher. In between the two live classes, the teachers and students also use e-mail for written assignments.

The Classes

The live classes generally run for one hour per class, depending on the student's availability. At the moment, we do not use one standard curriculum for the project, but instead each teacher tailors her classes for her specific student for an individualized three-month course. Each teacher is an experienced ESL/EFL teaching professional who has been screened by AIWR and we are confident in their skills to provide high-quality lessons to their students.

Student Requirements

In order to participate in the English Program, students must be affiliated with and approved by one of AIWR's local partner organizations. The students must have access to a reliable computer and high-speed internet twice a week. Students also need a headset with a microphone. Students are required to have at least a beginning level of English as the long-distance classes are not suitable for complete beginners.

Volunteer Teacher Requirements

Volunteer teacher requirements are as follows:

  • Volunteer teachers must have near-native English proficiency with ESL/EFL teaching certification or equivalent teaching experience.
  • Volunteers need to have a reliable computer, high-speed internet, Skype software (free software is found at www.skype.com), and a headset. We only use Skype’s free computer-to-computer software. We do not use the paid computer-to-phone service. We also do not usually use web cameras because the internet bandwidth in Afghanistan does not yet support them.
  • The volunteers will need to be available to teach one student for two sessions per week (each session is one hour), for a minimum of three months.
  • Class times vary for each local partner organization and are subject to frequent change for security reasons. Generally, the classes are Saturday through Wednesday, at 2:00 or 3:00 pm, Sunday through Wednesday, in Afghanistan’s time zone.

    Interested applicants should determine if they are available for two one-hour sessions during these hours by comparing their local time to Afghanistan time on the following website: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html. For time zone comparisons you may use the city of Kabul for Afghanistan on the time zone website. We ask that you please determine your availability during the required hours before applying.

  • Although AIWR welcomes volunteers of both genders in our other programs, due to the Afghan culture and for the safety of our Afghan women students, our Afghan partners require that their students only work with female teachers.

For information on applying to volunteer in our English Program, please see the Volunteer page.