Home Resources For volunteer ESOL teachers

Resources for volunteer ESOL teachers

Volunteer ESOL teachersNATECLA recognises the significant contribution voluntary ESOL teachers make to support formal provision. There are many NATECLA members who are providing language support in the public or voluntary sectors. 

The resources below are designed to support practitioners who work on a voluntary basis to help migrants, refugees or others to learn or practise their English. If you have suggestions on other resources that may be helpful, please contact us at info@natecla.org.uk

A Framework for Good Practice in Voluntary ESOL - launched October 2019

This document is intended primarily for those working in, and with, the voluntary sector in the field of ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages). It provides a set of principles of good practice, together with case studies for illustration. NATECLA hopes it will also inform policy makers and funders charged with integrating the work of volunteers into a national approach for those with languages other than English who seek to become active citizens in England.
We celebrate the way in which voluntary organisations have grown and tailored their work to fit with local needs and resources and we feel that there is now a need and a desire to agree on and to share best practice amongst us. This will hopefully be of use both to newer organisations and to those which are well-established but reviewing their practice.

>>Download the Framework

ELATT - The VIME Project - Volunteers in Migrant Language Education

Volunteers in second language learning come with different skills and experience, and they fulfil various roles. Many volunteers support teachers as classroom assistants, providing individual and group learning support within the classroom. Volunteers can also provide support as language buddies, act as mentors or run conversation clubs. As experts of local society, customs and language varieties, volunteers can make important contributions to learners’ language learning and integration into local society.
What is the VIME Toolkit:
It is very important to clearly identify the roles that volunteers can fulfill within migrant language education and to ensure that their work is effectively coordinated. Volunteers also require training and continuous support and development. ELATT together with three European partners, funded by Erasmus +, has produced a toolkit to support the involvement of volunteers in migrant language education. The Toolkit consists of VIME Framework and Model of working together, Guides, Materials and Training Modules for organisations to use to train volunteers, guidance and information for teaching professionals working with volunteers, and guidance and information for policy-makers looking for good practice in involving volunteers in migrant language education.

>> Find out more and download the toolkit here

A snapshot of English language teaching in seven voluntary sector organisations by Merton Home Tutoring (2017)

This report is a snapshot of what seven voluntary service organisations were offering to refugees and migrants needing to learn English, people who could not access standard college classes. The services enable them to move towards improved proficiency in English. The snapshot aims to describe the practices at the time of the visits. The core reason was to describe the range of activities within the sector, to disseminate informally some of the interesting aspects discovered during the visits, and to make a formal report which would benefit and inform other voluntary groups teaching ESOL.

>> Download the report

Free toolkit: Language support for adult refugees
Language support for adult refugeesThis on-line toolkit is designed to assist organisations that provide languages support for refugees, and especially the volunteers working for them. It offers practical resources in 3 main sections: 
  • Information on cultural and language awareness and language learning
  • Guidance on finding out about refugees’ language needs and planning language support
  • Learning activities that range from breaking the ice, learning vocabulary and thinking about language and learning, to a series of scenarios that focus on real-life communication and suggestions forinteracting with the local community.

Helping beginners learn: a guide for those volunteering with ESOL learners

Developed by the North East Migration Partnership, this guide is for volunteers who are helping to develop the language skills of people whose first language isn’t English. Its purpose is to develop a more in depth understanding of the learners that you may be helping, the difficulties they will face along the way, and some ways for you to help them use English and develop their confidence.

>> Download the guide

Working with Volunteers in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) Provision in Scotland

In January 2018, Glasgow ESOL Forum, in conjunction with Education Scotland, conducted a survey on the role volunteers play in publicly funded ESOL provision throughout Scotland. Welcoming Our Learners: Scotland’s National ESOL Strategy 2015-20201 recognises the need for volunteers in ESOL delivery to be “supported to be competent and confident in their support role to learners”. 
The survey examined the journey of a volunteer in ESOL provision and was followed up by a national discussion in March 2018 which examined the four themes of volunteer recruitment, policies and procedures, ongoing Career-Long Professional Learning (CPL) and measuring impact with regards to working with volunteers in ESOL provision in Scotland. This report aims to present the key themes from these two events and offer recommendations for next steps.

>> Download the report

SQA Professional Development Award: (PDA) Introduction to Tutoring English to Speakers of Other Languages (ITESOL) at SCQF level 6
The PDA ITESOL is a new award aimed at volunteers and tutor assistants who tutor, or intend to tutor, ESOL learners, but who may have no prior recognised ESOL (EFL)1 teaching/tutoring qualifications. This PDA has been designed in Scotland with the active ESOL agenda in mind. It aligns itself to the development of a Professional Qualifications Framework for ESOL practitioners in Scotland, recognising the need for current and prospective ESOL practitioners to have access to accredited subject specific qualifications, to a consistent national standard. This award forms the first stage of this framework.

The Language experience approach

Helping with beginner literacy EnglishFind out more about this popular approach to literacy teaching which uses the learners' own words as a basis for lessons.

>> Watch a video on the ESOL Nexus website

Other ESOL teaching resources