I went into town last night after work for an interview with the ESOLHT people, and all went well (actually, I think I would have had to have been an axe-murderer or something for them to turn me down – my interviewer mentioned that they’ve got nearly 100 learners on the waiting list for tutors, so new volunteers are welcomed with open arms!).
After talking to the interviewer I’m even more enthusiastic about the idea than I was before – she made it sound so interesting! The learners come from all sorts of backgrounds, and have a vast range of English skills and literacy levels (especially among the women, many of whom have no formal education even in their own language, which makes learning not only a new language but to read and write in it as well a major challenge).
They seem to have a really good set-up, too, with a huge resource library that tutors can borrow from at any time (and if you can’t make it in during office hours you can just ring them and let them know what you need and they’ll post it out to you). And from what she said they make every effort to make your life as a tutor as easy as possible – they try really hard to match tutors and learners with similar schedules so that you can do the tutoring at times that suit you, and try to find you someone who lives in the same area as you so you’re not having to travel all the way across town just for an hour’s tutoring session. And for your first tutoring session with a learner you are accompanied by one of the staff, who introduce you to the learner and help you to assess their needs – which is a great relief to me, because the only aspect of the tutoring that really didn’t appeal to me was the idea of having to just turn up at a stranger’s house and say “Hi, I’m your tutor”! So it’s reassuring to know they’ve thought through all of those sorts of things.
So now I can’t wait until next Tuesday to get started with the training. This is going to be really exciting!
Currently reading: A Million Open Doors by John Barnes and A Hat Full of Sky by Terry Pratchett
Currently listening to: Thirteen Steps Down by Ruth Rendell