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Speaking practice: Information for Volunteers

 

 

King's College London is home to a diverse body of students and staff who speak many different languages. We welcome volunteers from across the King's community to join us as volunteers in our longstanding speaking practice scheme.

Our scheme is now closed to new volunteers until the academic year 2022-23. In the new academic year, we will put out a new call for volunteers and be arranging new training sessions.

In the meantime, you can find out more about the scheme below and email us at language.resources@kcl.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Of the current volunteers we surveyed, all who responded would recommend joining the scheme as a volunteer! The speaking practice scheme is an enjoyable way to meet new people and speak to students from different backgrounds from all around the world and share your language and culture with them. You will learn new skills (both from our training and by offering your speaking practice sessions) and it is satisfying to help others learn and develop their skills and confidence in speaking a foreign language. There is the added benefit of being able to add this to your CV and we provide volunteer certificates both confirming the hours you have volunteered and for your participation in our training session.

The role of a speaking practice volunteer is to participate in 30min sessions with language learners to allow them the beneficial practice of speaking with a native speaker. You role is to listen, gently correct and encourage students to practice their spoken language skills and expose them to the way native speakers use language. The language learner is asked to bring content to practice and you will be given training on ideas to get/keep conversation going. Your role is not to teach, so you won't be expected to teach grammatical structures which are often difficult for native speakers to explain!

You need to be a native speaker of the language(s) you are offering and be able to commit to offering a regular time slot each week to participate in the scheme. The scheme runs via Zoom and so you will require a Zoom account - a free account will suffice. Please consider how much time you are willing to offer - anything from 30mins per week is great and your participation is appreciated however many hours you are able to commit. For students, your studies should always take priority so just let us know if you need to change or reduce your availability.

We run a compulsory training with input from our experienced teaching team to ensure you have everything you need to run the sessions. LRC staff are on hand via email or Microsoft Teams during working hours to answer any queries at language.resources@kcl.ac.uk.

Here are a few comments from a recent survey of our volunteers: "[I enjoyed] teaching others my native language and meeting new people." "What I enjoyed most the opportunity to meet native peoples and learn about places in the world." And, importantly... "It was fun" :) Join them!


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