Volunteer language tutors needed

Published on: 13 Apr 2022

Are you interested in helping migrants learn English? Do you have some spare time on weekdays?

TasTAFE is seeking people who would like to become volunteer language tutors for eligible migrants in Hobart, with the next six-week tutor training beginning on 30 May, 2022.

After completing their training, volunteer tutors assist migrant ‘students’ on a one-on-one basis for around an hour each week.  Sessions are usually held at a community location such as a library or in students’ homes.  Many of the migrant students live in Hobart’s Northern suburbs, but also in other locations around Hobart. Tutors assist migrant students to learn speaking, reading and writing English, as well as establish important connections with the local community.

Volunteer tutor, Lynda Vertigan (pictured above with migrant student Medina Wosho) completed the training in May 2021 and says she finds the program very rewarding.

“I like the way it involves me in the community.  It’s lovely to get to know someone from a different background and be able to help her.”

Medina migrated to Tasmania from Ethiopia.  She wants to learn English so that she can communicate well with people around her, such as her children’s teachers.  Medina also hopes to gain employment when her English is better.

“Lynda is a good teacher.  It’s important to learn English for me, and Lynda helps me a lot.”

Whilst TasTAFE provides on-campus English classes for migrants, some students need extra help to improve specific aspects such as writing skills. There are also migrants who are unable to attend classes due to mobility issues or caring responsibilities. The tutor program aims to fill that gap.

Lynda says she is thoroughly enjoying her tutoring role and would recommend it to others.

“The training was really good. I liked it because it included the issues and challenges that migrants face in Australia, as well as teaching strategies and a great range of resources.”

“To teach English, I have to consider my own language – the complexity, the irregularity, it’s not easy.  But you are not alone, as TasTAFE provides you with resources and ongoing support.  It’s very interesting and rewarding to be a tutor.”

Volunteer Tutor Scheme Administrator, Hiroko Kunimoto said “Whilst helping the student improve their language skills, the tutor incidentally helps them understand cultural differences, some Australian customs and way of living. They can become an important connection point to the society the migrants are trying to adjust to and embrace.”

AMEP logo The tutor training is a combination of online study and face to face sessions.  If you have a genuine interest, please email Hiroko at TasTAFE.Home.Tutor.ELS@tastafe.tas.edu.au for more information about this rewarding program.

The Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) is funded by the Australian Government Department of Home Affairs.  TasTAFE is an AMEP service provider in Southern Tasmania.