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
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
Here's what one volunteer said about her
"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
Marcella Sheridan, Welcome In Volunteer