Welcome In

Welcome immigrants to your community through conversational English classes

 

5 Step Guide to

Welcome In

Overview


Welcome In "Welcome to the ChangeX Welcome In guide! We're delighted you're thinking about starting a Welcome In branch in your community. Here you’ll find all the information, practical tips and resources you need. There is someone to help you at each stage of the journey so don't be afraid to get in touch!" - Liam Carey, International Co-ordinator Welcome In

5 Steps

Who? Someone who...

Resource Checklist

Time

As a leader you’ll need approximately 4 hours a week to get the classes up and running.


Get Started

Assess local environment

The first thing you'll need to think about is what's already happening in the area of integration, particularly around language, and how might this model fit in.

Assess the local need by talking to the people in your community who will know. Talk to local immigrants and people or organizations who are working with them to understand if these type of community based English language classes would be beneficial. You don't need to show that there is any particular number of people interested but once you know there are a small number of people who would benefit then you'll know there is enough demand to get started.

Once you have established that there is a need locally, you'll need to figure out who the people are that can support the project locally in your community?

This may include local schools, local Government, NGOs already active in the integration space, Library, Town Council, Migrant Organizations, Local Community Groups, Faith Groups or Churches.

Arrange to meet with as many of these groups as you can and tell them why you think this particular model of classes would benefit your community or perhaps complement some of the work already happening.

When speaking to them, remember the list of resources you need and ask them if there's anything they could help with e.g. recruiting volunteers or finding a venue.


h1>Find a Suitable Venue

The first big step is finding a suitable venue. This is one which is in a central location, is easily accessible, is able to accommodate up to 60 people providing a safe environment for all. Ideally, this venue would be accessible free of charge e.g. a local community centre.

Tips

Now might be a good time to get in touch with your mentor who can give you some tips & advice on finding a venue.

Remember that when you're asking for access to a venue it's for the benefit of the whole community and not just for you.


Find 10 Volunteers & Participate in Training

Volunteers

Once you've confirmed demand and found a suitable venue the next step will be recruiting your volunteers to actually deliver the classes. Volunteers do not require prior teaching experience or a teaching qualification as all training is provided. These volunteers may be people you know in the community or you could look for volunteers at your local volunteer centre, in a local active ageing group or some of the people you spoke to in Step 1 may be able to help you out in finding the right people.

All volunteers are asked to sign up to and commit to the volunteer policy and a code of conduct outlining the values and ethos of the initiative. You'll be sent a copy of each of these documents once you sign up to get started.

Training

The Welcome In team is currently planning a training for early 2017 in Minnesota. This will be followed by a combination of remote and digital support, guidance and debriefing for the volunteers.

Training manuals will also be delivered to you in advance of this session.

Materials

Welcome In provides 3 booklets (beginner, intermediate and advanced) which are used by both the tutors and students in the classes. These can be ordered from Welcome In in advance of commencing classes.


Advertise the Classes

The next step is to set a date for your first class and start spreading the word!

Get the word out about classes by advertising in local businesses, community centres, local newsletters, newspapers or local migrant organizations. You'll find that once the classes start word of mouth may be your strongest way of advertising but it's always advisable to do some local advertising to get started.

Some of the groups and people you spoke to at Step 1 may be able to help you with getting the word out but a simple notice in any local newsletters or newspapers will also help.


Teach and Have Fun!

At this stage you'll be all set to start teaching. Remeber that experienced Welcome In facilitators will help with your first 3 sessions to make sure you feel fully supported and comfortable.

Running Welcome In classes is often just as enjoyable and rewarding for the teachers as it is for the learners.

Here's what one volunteer said about her experience:

"At this stage in my life, Welcome In has given me an outlet to put my skills and experience to good use. It means a lot, and has given me a lot. As well as knowing I am helping others, I am also benefiting greatly – through the friendships I have made, the different cultures and customs I have learned about, and through the opportunity it gives me to continue to do something really worthwhile".
Marcella Sheridan, Welcome In Volunteer


×