The project main parts are:
1- The administration (representatives of the project)
2- The volunteers (trainers who are native speakers of English or French)
3- The trainees (the people who want to improve their second language by conversation)
The project works as following:
– Volunteers can contribute, at least, with one hour of volunteering a week and trainees can get, at least, one hour of training a week. If some volunteers like to do more than one hour a week then they are welcome. Trainees can do more than one hour a week only if their volunteers accept to do it or if there are other volunteers available to be matched with.
– A representative of the project will interview (very short interviews 3-5 minutes long) both volunteers and trainees to accept them as participants in the project or to refuse them (if they do not fulfill certain criteria, for example, a volunteer who is not a native speaker of French or English will not be accepted. Or a trainee who does not have an accepted level of English or French will not be also accepted).
– Volunteers do not need any training or preparation for the conversation sessions. Volunteers need only to listen to trainees and correct them if they make mistakes or use improper vocabulary or expressions.
– The project administration will match volunteers with trainees (one-to-one) and supply both of them with the needed contact information (names and emails) to contact each other directly.
– Volunteers and trainees will contact each other to arrange their meetings (the sessions of conversation). Thus the time, length, place and topic of the conversation sessions can be agreed on between the volunteer and trainee.
– For security reasons, volunteers and trainees have to meet in public places like (universities, colleges, public libraries, malls…etc).
– It is not recommended that conversation sessions take place at coffee shops or similar places because some participants might not have enough money to cover such expenses.
– It is obvious that volunteers have the priority to choose the place and time of the conversation sessions.
– It is recommended to avoid offending topics like (politics, religion, sexuality…etc).
– During the conversation sessions, volunteers will try to correct trainees’ accent or intonation, pronunciation, grammar, vocabulary or any other linguistic aspects.
– The conversation sessions can be also done over the phone or online (skype, Facebook or Yahoo messenger for example).
– After every session, the volunteer and trainee should send individually a very short report about their session including the date, time, place, length and the topic of the session done.
As it is mentioned above, the project representatives will interview both volunteers and trainees apart. Then volunteers and trainees will be matched. The contact information (emails) will be sent to every pair (volunteer-trainee) to contact each other to decide on the time, length and place of the conversation sessions. After every session, both the volunteer and trainee should send individually a very short report about their session. This information will be saved in the project database to be used later to evaluate both volunteers and the trainees.
It is obvious that the conversation sessions have to be done with a very civilized manner so that the project can continue to benefit the people who need it. This project is a win-win situation for both volunteers and trainees and both should show gratitude to each other.