Stevenson College Edinburgh is recruiting volunteer tutors to help teach English to speakers of other languages and is holding information sessions for potential tutors on 21 and 28 January, at Duncan Place Resource Centre in Leith. The College is recruiting for volunteers in East Edinburgh and West Lothian.
The volunteer programme, which has been running for several years, is a highly rewarding experience which can really change someone’s life. Around Edinburgh and the Lothian’s there is a huge range of people who would like to learn English as a second language, but who cannot attend classes due to family commitments and work patterns. This means that they can struggle with everyday tasks – such as helping their children with homework and making their way around the supermarket – as well as finding employment.
The Volunteer Tutor programme provides volunteers who teach the students on a one-to-one basis in their home. While the needs of those being tutored varies, they all share a common desire to improve their English and hence their quality of life.
Volunteers also gain a lot from the experience, getting to know their student, their background and finding out about their culture. It is also an excellent opportunity for anyone who would like to teach in the future to gain practical experience and references.
Denis McCartney, who has been a volunteer tutor for over five years, has found the experience fascinating and was impressed by the support he received from Stevenson College staff. He said:
“The initial training was excellent, and the on-going support and advice from Stevenson staff has been invaluable.”
Yogesh Rai from Nepal who lives in Edinburgh, with his wife and 12-year-old-daughter, is an example of a student who has been able to improve his prospects as a result of his lessons with a volunteer home tutor. Yogesh learned to speak English while serving as a soldier in the British Army and although he could communicate quite well he found it hard to write good English. Working as a security guard on night shifts meant he couldn’t attend a class on a regular basis.
As a result of The Home Learning Scheme a tutor was found to teach in the evenings to fit with his changing shift rota. Now Rogesh has set-up his own business in dog-handling and set-up a website to promote his services.
If you would like to find out more about becoming a volunteer tutor, why not book a place on the next Information Session on 21 or 28 January. A training course will commence later in February 2010.