Giving back to the community is a noble and philanthropic gesture. But, ever wondered how you, as an ESL, EFL teacher, can start giving something back to the community and what you could do? If you have, this article gives you a few excellent ideas.
Giving back to the community is philanthropic
Philanthropy is the act of giving back and gifting. Generosity has become a part of our everyday life and society. Philanthropy supports efforts such as medical research down to volunteering your time to help in your community. Philanthropic efforts also work to lessen social issues and improve wellness in people, society, and the planet.
Volunteering can be global
We can all impact communities at home and abroad, making the world a better place. The nice thing about philanthropy is that it does not have to be based only on your local community. It can also be doing volunteer ESL work abroad in less developed countries in exchange for room and board. It can also be tutoring ELLs (English Language Learners) in adult centres. This volunteer, TEFL/TESOL work, is an excellent way to give back to the community. Still, it is also a way to build your teaching experience. Many TEFL schools and language institutes take volunteer TEFL/TESOL work as a good teaching experience.
Seven ways for giving back to the community
Here are five simple and meaningful ways to give back to the community and begin your journey of positive impacts.
1. Donate your time
One of the most effective ways of giving back is volunteering your time. For example, you can give your time to adult learning centres, immigration groups, primary schools in underdeveloped countries, or a local non-profit school that may need EFL and ESL teachers. Your time is valuable, and gifting it can make a world of difference in the lives of many.
2. A random act of kindness for a neighbour
Volunteering your time and energy can help strengthen your neighbourhood with simple gestures of kindness. Lend a helping hand by tutoring children or young adults with their English assignments. You can also offer a language interchange. This serves as a conversational practice for both. This may depend on the language you want to practice or learn. It could also depend on where you live. For example, if there are many Hispanic residents in your neighbourhood, offer an interchange of English for Spanish. Ask around or post an advert on the local grocery or community centre’s notice board. Offer English conversation for Spanish. If you want to practice another language, advertise the language you wish to practice. We live in a globalised world, and you are bound to find someone whose mother tongue you would like to learn in exchange for your English. You can interchange English for French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian, Mandarin Chinese, Japanese, Korean, etc. This can be a generous act that leaves a lasting impression on others. Many successful EFL/ESL teachers started their teaching experience by tutoring children. They realised that teaching was their passion, which converted into their professional careers shortly after starting.
3. Participate in fundraisers and charity events
Finding a cause that you care about can be an excellent motivation for assisting or even creating an activity in your community. Start a charitable event or fundraiser for immigrant children learning English. This kind of volunteer work can be helpful to you in your future professional career. Many companies value organisational skills and proactivity, and these qualities play a significant role in their decision as to whether you get the job or not. There may also be existing volunteer work in the EFL and ESL sectors. They work with a network of volunteers nationwide or abroad. So location is no excuse not to be involved with charity events.
4. Help a child in need
Many children need better skills to have better lives when they become adults. One skill that most underprivileged children need is the ability to speak English. Many children in underdeveloped countries do not have access to education, let alone English classes. You can help a child by asking the school to give English classes. In countries like Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines, primary schools might be willing to take you in as their English teacher. These are mainly state schools with very little government funding. They work with limited resources, and there is a constant lack of teaching staff. If you can work out a volunteer deal where they help you a bit with board and lodging, you can offer them a complete English learning programme. For example, you will plan, design and deliver an English learning programme for their Primary school children from 6-12. You will develop the English curriculum and plan and create the materials and resources for the Primary children’s linguistic needs. You will teach the English classes. As mentioned before, by doing this volunteer activity, you are not just leaving a lasting impression of generosity with the children but also acquiring new skills. Your teaching experience was gained from real-life teaching situations. This will be a big plus when you start your professional EFL/ESL career. However, this work experience is not limited to teaching. These skills are both work and life skills that most employers worldwide value. You gave a little of yourself yet managed to impact many lives, yours included, forever.
5. Volunteer at your local senior citizen community centre
Volunteering at your local senior community centre. For example, giving back to the community by developing an ESL programme that integrates conversation activities for senior citizens in Asian or Hispanic communities. You can create practical and hands-on activities for ELLs (English Language Learners). Bilingual learning improves an ELL’s cognitive development as well as their self-esteem. There have also been studies about language learning delaying Alzheimer’s and dementia.
Know that by giving back to the community, you are making a difference
We at EBC play our part by giving back to the community by offering free English classes every Thursday and Friday afternoon.
There are many opportunities to help where needed, learn new skills, spend time abroad, maybe learn a language – and gain unforgettable memories. Your volunteer work will make a difference to those you help and you.