Information for volunteer Talk English Friends

Living in a country where you don’t speak the language can be difficult and lonely. As a Talk English Friend you will support people with low level English language skills to improve their English, get to know their local area, access services and meet others.

Volunteering as Talk English Friend is a great opportunity for people to gain experience and develop new skills while making a difference to peoples’ lives. By volunteering with Talk English you will gain experience of mentoring, working as part of a team and working with people from a range of different backgrounds. You will also develop your communication and organisational skills.

What’s expected of Talk English Friends?

Volunteer Talk English Friends will be matched to people who speak little or no English. Volunteers will be expected to meet their ‘Friend’ for one or two hours each week. You will help them to practise English and find out about their local area. You will also accompany them to Talk English Activities where you can meet other people in the same situation.

What training and support is available?

All volunteer Talk English Friends will be expected to attend and complete a training course to prepare them for their role.
Through the training course, you will learn how to communicate better with people with low level English language skills, find out about procedures and guidelines you need to follow and ideas for things to do with your Friend.
You will also be able to access the Talk English website for online learning activities and a programme of Talk English Activities. Throughout the project, there will be additional training and networking opportunities for volunteers.
Volunteers’ travel expenses to and from training and volunteering will be reimbursed through the project.

Role description: volunteer Talk English Friends

Providing 1:1 support and mentoring to people with low levels of English to help them improve their English and integrate into their communities.

For this role we are looking for volunteers who are:

 Willing to commit to supporting at least 4 people over the course of the project
 Willing to attend and complete a short training course

Volunteers will need:
 Good verbal communication skills for effective interaction
 Good reading and writing skills in English

Volunteer ESOL teachers will be expected to:

Prepare for mentoring by:
 Attending an information session and initial training sessions
 Applying for a DBS check

Once matched to a ‘Friend’, you will be expected to:
 Support the enrolment of learners onto the project and complete the benchmarking form to identify learners’ levels at the start of of your mentoring relationship
 Meet your ‘Friend’ regularly to practise English, go to Talk English Activities and access services.
 Record your activities
 Review the benchmarking form to identify learners’ levels at the end of your mentoring relationship
 Refer learners to other aspects of the Talk English project
Throughout the project you will be expected to:
 Participate in training opportunities as required
 Through personal example, open commitment and clear action, ensure diversity is positively valued and communicated
Where the volunteer is disabled, every effort will be made to supply all the necessary aids, adaptations or equipment to allow them to carry out all the duties of the role.