So far, Talk English has recruited, trained and supported over 650 volunteers as teachers and Friends, who have supported more than 3,000 people to improve their English and confidence. Janice started volunteering with Talk English in Manchester last year because she wanted to help people in her community with their language skills. Here she tells us what she has […]
So far, Talk English has recruited, trained and supported over 650 volunteers as teachers and Friends, who have supported more than 3,000 people to improve their English and confidence.
Janice started volunteering with Talk English in Manchester last year because she wanted to help people in her community with their language skills. Here she tells us what she has gained and learned from her involvement with Talk English:
“What I have gained through doing this volunteering work really can’t be quantified, however, it has given me the sense of purpose that many of us spend endless time looking for – a reason to get up in the morning, a Monday morning at that! It has given me a stronger sense of belonging as a person, teacher and as a citizen and has continually reinforced that we all need that, wherever we come from. It has strengthened my belief in equality, respect for others and social justice.
I have met and worked with wonderful people, learners, fellow volunteers and project staff and learnt lots of different things about other languages and cultures that cannot be measured.
I thought I was fairly knowledgeable about other cultures but I learnt something new every week about them, whether it was similarities in the sounds of words or a deeper understanding of faith and religion. Being in this unique situation challenges your own beliefs and stereotypical observations and reinforced my overall belief that differences enrich life [and] that we all have something to bring to the table.
In my classes I have seen learners grow in confidence. Cultural understanding and awareness within both groups has significantly improved over the duration of the classes I have taught. Common factors like faith don’t mean that everyone practises that faith in the same way, geographical origin plays a part in that too and I have seen learners discuss these differences and seen the atmosphere in the classroom become a lot warmer! If only this could be transferred into our wider society!
I have learnt that with the right approach and the right people anything can be achieved. I have learnt to adapt quite quickly to change and have become more open and reflective.
I am happier and more confident, more willing to do something that I haven’t done before – I am now training to be a Community Reporter for instance and am looking at developing other projects.
I have learnt that I can do things I never dreamed I would do, what it feels like not to give up and what commitment is really about, which is about being committed to life and giving something of yourself to it.
I have built multiple (hopefully lasting) relationships and have extended and improved my ability to work in partnership with others. I have learnt to cope with lots of change and sometimes all at once and have learnt to focus on what matters!!
I am a lot happier – I laugh a lot these days! My mental health has improved so much that I am not the same person I was in November, it’s been a hard slog at times but I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience, I love everything about it and I have more confidence, more belief in myself, I feel like I have succeeded at something for the first time in my life. This project has changed my life and who I am! Thanks for giving me a chance!”
If you would like to volunteer with Talk English, get in touch!