Read about some of the successes and experiences of TEFL grant recipients and then download an application form to begin or enhance your own volunteering journey:
Teaching English to Asylum Seekers, Refugees and Migrants: New Grants Available in 2019
In 2018, Bishops’ Appeal offered a grant to people interested in becoming qualified to teach English as a second language. There was huge interest in the grant from people all over the island of Ireland and people at all stages of life. Shortly after the first round of grants had been allocated the father of a successful grant recipient approached me to thank Bishops’ Appeal for the initiative. His daughter recently finished a Masters and was struggling to find work. Getting the TEFL qualification had encouraged her to get involved in local outreach and had redirected her thoughts and given her confidence to put into practise her passion for others.
This is not an isolated story. Some grant recipients were already involved in church or community migrant support groups, but the TEFL course enabled them to bring this volunteering to another level. Others, through different life experiences, had lost confidence in being able to make a difference and the qualification gave them the boost to reconnect with community groups and to make friends with refugees. Others again, had no experience in this area but have sought out groups in order to volunteer. The grant also stirred up a lot of questions for people about the potential for their church to provide the classes if one or more of the parishioners were to become qualified. It has been exciting to see the potential and the action, when people are given a little support.
Judy in Sligo has great plans for using her qualifications when she has finished wading through the grammar section:
‘We have a large Direct Provision Centre here in Sligo called Globe House where approximately 200 people live along with children. Having personally heard of some of their challenges, I understand how difficult it is for them to learn English and I felt compelled to help in some way. When the grant was advertised in the “Vox” magazine, I applied and was successful. I guess God had something to do with it!
I’m enjoying the TEFL course – the grammar module is certainly a challenge! There is a lot more detail than I recall in school! The course is very well structured and besides the theory, there are videos and demonstrations to further explain concepts and methodologies ; also quizzes with each module which are submitted for grading and are necessary to gain the qualification. The course must be completed within six months. Hopefully I will gain the qualification by early February 2019.
I am hoping to teach TEFL to asylum seekers in one of the local centres and perhaps too with the ETB (Education Training Board). I have been in contact with one of the tutors and have been asked to contact him when I have completed the course. I’m also considering if it could be used in church ministry.
I’m looking forward to teaching and using the qualification to help others. I know it will be demanding but also rewarding and fulfilling. A big ‘ Thank you’ again to the Church of Ireland for the grant.’
Marjorie in Galway, has already completed her course and is putting her qualifications to great use:
‘While I was working on the Discovery/Galway Christian Fellowship soup trailer for the homeless I got to know a man from Eastern Europe. Joseph (not his real name) expressed his frustration at finding it difficult to obtain work because of his poor English. No job means no house, No house means living in a hostel or on the streets. No home means it is very difficult to have your children come to visit you. It’s a vicious circle that is so problematic to get out of.
The TEFL course was a bit more demanding than I expected. There are 13 tenses in English! That’s a few more than I was expecting. On the other hand, it was broken up into bite sized units which helped.
I’m enjoying teaching, as a volunteer, with Galway City Partnership. I have seven students, each from a different country, each trying to fit in with their new culture, find work and care for their families.
Long term, I would love my church, Galway Christian Fellowship, to host an English class as an expression of God’s love to our local community.
Thank you to The Bishops’ Appeal for their support in funding this course.’
Due to the success of the grants in 2018, Bishops’ Appeal will again be funding TEFL courses in 2019. Where is God calling you to serve this year? Maybe you feel pushed to connect in with a local community group or your parish could provide the meeting space for conversational classes? Maybe the Direct Provision Centre in your area can be accessed through English classes and friendships that cross cultures and languages can be born. Whatever it may be, may you be open to the promptings of the Spirit, and may you celebrate the wonder of serving God: where you, the giver, are enriched in ways that far surpass your own ability to enrich others.
Click here to download: TEFL 2019 Application