2.1 Four Roles for a Language Volunteer
Volunteer 1: ‘Assisting in the class’ • the main focus is to provide extra help in the classroom;;• example tasks: reinforce and practice language, focus on particular areas of the learner’s language, facilitating differentiation.
Volunteer 2: ‘Practising language use’
• the main focus is on (oral) practice (individuals or small groups);• example tasks: working on class homework together, practising roleplays, discussing a book/article/text together, playing language games.
Volunteer 3: ‘Providing opportunities for social engagement’ • the main focus is to support migrants to become independent through social engagement;• example tasks: explaining necessary processes about daily life, acting as a reference point, going to local places of interest together, participating in activities together (gardening clubs, cooking clubs), or just meeting for a chat over a cup of tea;• Volunteers in the workplace may support a colleague to understand work processes or health and safety instructions, eat lunch together or attend work events together.
Volunteer 4: ‘Promote and encourage language improvement’This role is specifically for people in organisations that work with migrants, but not in a language education capacity. For example local GPs, housing associations, libraries, municipality councils, social workers, hospitals, children’s schools, NGOs, law centres, and migrants who are current or previous language learners. All people in these roles can promote language learning as part of their usual interactions with migrants.• the main focus is encouraging people to improve their language by using opportunities in their local area through liaising with local coordinators; and also to promote the value of the host community engaging with migrants;• example tasks: referring their service-users to language courses, encouraging migrants to participate in language learning activities such as conversations clubs, promoting benefits of language learning to their client groups;