Padma Padmanaban is a volunteer English tutor with AMES Australia, a leading settlement provider for asylum seekers, refugees and migrants
Padma enjoys the flexibility of the tutoring program and finds it rewarding to see her students improve over time.
She says the support given to volunteer tutors at AMES Australia is amazing.
“The four week training program is really helpful, especially if you have no experience teaching English,” Padma says, adding, “AMES also provide a website for tutors and lots of teaching resources to help you plan ahead.”
As an Indian migrant, Padma says she can relate to a lot of the accent difficulties that newly arrived students are faced with.
“Students find it reassuring when I tell them that I had the same problems,” Padma says.
“I tell them just to ask Australians, ‘What did you say?’ or just repeat yourself again slower,” she says. “There’s no harm in that.”
Padma has been both a home and classroom tutor with AMES Australia, and enjoys each experience for different reasons.
“When I visit a student in the home, I find it rewarding to see them improve over time,” Padma says. “Being a classroom tutor is very different because you meet new students every week, and the lesson is planned for you,” she adds.
“We have more laughs in the classroom because there are many of us and more language hurdles,” she says.
Padma found out about AMES Australia’s volunteer tutor program online.
You too can find out more about being a volunteer English tutor at www.ames.net.au/volunteering/volunteer-tutors
Depending on your preferred location, you can apply bycontacting one of the listed coordinators.
You then attend an interview with the coordinator, and bring with you a completed application form and 100 points of ID for police check processing.
Once you are accepted, you complete a four week training program with AMES Australia. The training is held for two hours a week, and you can choose from a variety of days, times, and locations to complete it.
Your coordinator will then match you with a student for one-on-one tutoring, which will depend on a mutually suitable time for you both, or you can volunteer in a classroom at the same time every week.