English with volunteering opportunity to make the best of your stay

Angela Sanchez learned English in the UK herself. Now that she runs a language school, she uses her personal experience to help students make the best of their time here.

So, English UK member Bethnal Student Academy regularly asks students for feedback. One result is that the school is organising a programme which will help students to practice their English by volunteering with local charities in London.

"When you go abroad to study English it's a challenge. You are thinking that it's going to be expensive, not in your comfort zone, you're going to struggle. We want to help students get the most out of their trip by getting into the culture," says Angela.

She adds: "You want to use your skills while you're here – you might not be here that long so you should make the most of it.

"Most of the people who come here want to practice their English and feel more confident, so we try to make it as practical and immersive as possible. I've been a student myself and it was like when I was in high school – so we have constant feedback from our students, and act on it."

"Charities are huge in the UK, much more so than in the countries the students come from. In London, it can be easy not to speak English at all, because you meet people from your home country. That's why we're getting in touch with charities so that students who want to practice by volunteering in a shop or another position can do that, and help them out. We're contacting local charities, and it means students will give something and get something as well. By volunteering they will get value by interacting with local people."

Angela says that Bethnal is such a small school that it has a family feel, and does its best to support students. Because many have jobs, it runs a flexi-course so that they can sign up for teaching sessions once work rotas have been arranged. It also uploads one-minute English lessons from teachers or the school's director of studies to YouTube every week, to help support students.

"We thought it would be useful to show how we explain things and sharing a little bit of knowledge, and also to help people who have studied with us. It's a way of keeping in touch with school and keep on learning even if you've finished your course."

English UK member offer all sorts of courses, from English and computer coding to English and mining, or English + golf to legal English with a lawyer.


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