Help teach English to monks in Anuradhapura, Sri Lanka


Sri Lanka

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  • Description


    I am the only monk Senior Lecturer in English at the Bhiksu University of Sri Lanka, Anuradhapura in the North Central Province of Sri Lanka. I want the help of male Volunteers to teach English to the Vice Chancellor of our University and the monks of his temple amounting to 30-50. Even in our university, there are about 360 monks learning English. Vice Chancellor maintains a Pirivena, a residential educational institution for monks. We would like someone to teach English to monks while improving the chancellor's English knowledge. We will facilitate the volunteers all the necessary things. I will co-ordinate all the activities. I will accompany volunteers for sightseeing and provide everything the volunteers need. I have to inform you that currently I am doing my PhD TESOL research degree at the University of Stirling, Scotland, UK. If a workawayer is to do the teaching, as many did, I will negotiate with the Vice Chancellor and facilitate for the work. If a female workawayer want to teach English to Buddhist nuns, I can arrange a nunnery as serveral female workawayers had a wonderful time as in the reviews. Hope to help and facilitate workawayers with pleasure.

    General Guidelines to Workawayers with the feedback of the 1st Workawayer
    You will be living in a temple. It’s important to:
    1. dress appropriately. Long pants are essential. You should have at least 2 white shirts, to wear for alms/dining room and chanting, as well as other special occasions.
    2. There are two types of monks at the temple: little monks and elder monks. Be always respectful to Venerable monks and Buddhist practices.
    3. The monks will give you ample guidance and instructions. For example, where you may go in the temple. Don’t go to areas of the temple unless you have first been invited or asked the elder monks if it is ok.
    4. If you want to leave the temple for some time in the day (for example to go to the beach) tell one of the elder monks. Otherwise, they will be concerned where you are.
    5. Take this amazing opportunity to learn as much as you can about Buddhist philosophy - the elder monks will be happy to share Dhamma teachings with you, as well as books to read. The monks are so generous and discussing Dhamma with you is helpful for them, to explain Buddhism.
    6. Participate in temple life. You will really love serving alms in the dining hall to the monks at breakfast and lunch and worshipping, such as attending chanting at night-time.
    7. Take all opportunities to talk with little monks. Best is one on one conversations with each and every little monk! Some will be harder to reach, some will be very keen to talk. But, with patience and kindness, keep trying and all will be very happy to talk with you
    8. Be aware of little monks’ daily schedule. They work very long days, starting at 4am and have many commitments. Try not to interfere with their other commitments. For example: visiting them at their Pirivena (school for monks). It was better to visit at their break time (2.45) rather than during class when they need to study.
    9. A good time to talk with little Monks is 9.30-11.30am each morning. There will also be many other chances during the day/evening for informal discussions with little monks, either individually or in groups.
    10. Little monks really want to practice speaking English but haven’t had a lot of opportunities to. It’s good to ask them about things they know about! Family, village, Buddhism, Sri Lankan culture, sports, hobbies, foods, fruit/vegetables. Speak slowly and clearly. You will find it useful to speak first with the older little monks and they can also help explain things to the younger little monks when you get stuck.
    11. It is good to learn some Sinhala words, for example greetings. Everyone will hugely appreciate the effort, and it will help explain your English questions- example, how many brothers and sisters they have etc.
    12. You will meet some wonderful lay people (devotees) who come to the temple. When talking with devotees, please seek clarification of anything you’re not sure about from the elder monks.
    13. Don’t give your mobile phone or other communication devices to the little monks.

  • Types of help and learning opportunities

    Types of help and learning opportunities


  • UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN sustainablity goals this host is trying to achieve

    UN goals
    No poverty
    Zero hunger
    Good health and well-being
    Quality education
    Gender equality
    Clean water and sanitation
    Affordable and clean energy
    Decent work and economic growth
    Industries, innovation and infrastructure
    Reduce inequality
    Sustainable cities and communities
    Responsible consumption and production
    Climate action
    Life below water
    Life on land
    Peace, justice and strong institutions
    Partnerships for the goals
  • Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    Cultural exchange and learning opportunities

    They can learn Buddhist practices, the way monks learn, learn Buddhist doctrine if they like, engage in sightseeing in various parts of Sri Lanka, enjoy Sri Lankan food and be happy with monks sharing life.

  • Help


    I would like some help from a volunteer to teach English to the Vice Chancellor and the monks in his temple at Ashokaramaya, Isadeen Town, Matara.

  • Languages

    Languages spoken
    English: Fluent
    Sinhalese: Fluent

    This host offers a language exchange
    My language interest is in English. I am working as a Senior Lecturer in English, and I want to get exposure to various English Accent.

  • Accommodation


    A room with attached bathroom with or without AC.

  • What else ...

    What else ...

    They can engage in sunbathing, surfing since the place is near the sea in Matara in the Southern part of Sri Lanka. They are free to travel by informing the monks about leaving according to the instructions for safety.

  • A little more information

    A little more information

    • Internet access

    • Limited internet access

      Limited internet access

    • We have pets

    • We are smokers

    • Can host families

  • Can host digital nomads

    Can host digital nomads

    I would like to communicate with people in English for exchanging ideas about diverse cultures and improve my English with different accent technological means.

  • Space for parking camper vans

    Space for parking camper vans

    I can facilitate with parking etc.

  • Can possibly accept pets

    Can possibly accept pets


  • How many Workawayers can stay?

    How many Workawayers can stay?

    More than two

  • ...

    Hours expected

    Maximum 2 hours a day, 5 days a week

Host ref number: 382644367523