The Rosalie Rendu Center recruits and matches fluent English-speaking volunteers with adult English language learners. Students often admit that they rarely have an opportunity to practice their speaking skills outside of class or the Conversation Club. Not having anyone to converse with in English is a common impediment to learning the language among our students who live in a primarily Spanish-speaking community. Our Language Partners change this dynamic. Meeting one-on-one with a student once a week for an hour, they provide a consistently safe environment where English learners feel comfortable communicating as best as they can without feeling that they are being judged by their ability. Language Partners affirm our students in their efforts and encourage them to continue learning and striving. Led by the student’s needs, Language Partners can read about a topic and discuss it, review a grammar point and dialogue from class, practice citizenship questions, or role play a conversation for an upcoming doctor’s appointment.
As a result of working with a Language Partner, students report feeling less afraid and more confident in English-speaking situations. They are more apt to participate in class and to encourage their classmates to do so, too. With the interest and encouragement of a Language Partner, students begin to appreciate that, even as English language learners, sharing their thoughts and opinions is an important factor in creating relationships within the broader community.
Title: Language Partners
Level: High beginners to advanced
Time of Day: Flexible, via videoconferencing
Volunteer: Positions available