Children Learning English, Children Teaching English

Written by Isabell Jacobson
Rate this item
(0 votes)
Volunteer teaching english Volunteer teaching english

With an increasing need for English in business, higher education and an ever globalising world, the  disadvantaged children of Buenos Aires are at risk of missing out on valuable language skills. This week, the communications team visited a small school in Pablo Nogues, working wonders to give every child the opportunity to thrive, learn and one day, be equipped with the skills to work in an international context, a multinational or just simply possess the knowledge to choose.

We traveled by a particularly noisy train from Retiro to the suburb along with two Finnish girls, who were starting their first day of volunteering and Monika, a Swiss lady, who bravely takes two weeks off her busy year to volunteer annually. We were met by Silvia, a particularly passionate, high spirited woman who is full of the kindness and soul that a place like this needs to attract the children into the school in the first place.  She wears a sparkly jumper, which to me is indicative of her animated manner and the confidence she has in the project.
The children arrive after school for their evening activities and like any children of their age, some arrive hooked on their mobile phones, whilst others peer curiously at the new volunteers. Class begins and although the classrooms are basic and resources simple, the class begins with an air of focus and calm. There is not enough money in the pot to supply English teachers for these children, so they are taught via a mix of volunteers from abroad alongside the older pupils who are able to pass on their penny's worth. In this case, I am astounded by a girl of about 13 who runs the class, holds all the pupils' attention and is wise beyond her years.  
I think back to my own job in a girls' school back home and wonder whether my pupils would take on this challenge as willingly or quite as efficiently. The idea that girls of her age can be given the opportunity to take on such a massive responsibility is a controversial one but it works. And everyone seems happy. They discuss the strange and questionable pronunciation of 'stomach ache' and the teenage helper simply shrugs her head and reassures pupils that exceptions are just part and parcel of learning a language.


It comforts me that there does not seem to be any filter when it comes to the students' questions and everyone seems relaxed, motivated and present. Monika is also at ease and has quickly adapted to the friendly atmosphere of this special school. It is a spring day and the sun pours into the classrooms; a universal approval for the creative teaching and learning that is taking place within these four walls.
Read 43558 times

Related items

Until when? The great debt with mental health

In a year where we all felt the importance of mental health, where we experienced the problems of confinement, and where our ways of living were in check, we believe that it is important to continue fighting for the real implementation of the mental health law in our country.

From face-to-face volunteer to online volunteer: Sonia's testimony

Sonia volunteered a few years ago in Buenos Aires and she decided to be an online volunteer during the pandemic. Get to know more about her story here:

Through Julia's experience: What is it like to teach English as an online volunteer?

Julia tells us a little bit about her experience, what's she learning from it, and how she feels about online volunteering! Find out more in this interview:

COVID and Primary Health Care Centers

How have primary health center relationships with the community changed? 

Navigating the Pandemic: Laura's Testimony

This time we talked to Laura, founder of one of the English institutes: Springfield.

Navigating the Pandemic: Liliana's Testimony

We keep in touch with the organizations in the network to know how they are holding up, how the community is doing, and what challenges they see ahead.

Navigating the Pandemic: Silvia's Testimony

Social isolation keeps us apart, but the network is still active. We are talking with all the local coordinators to see how they are doing and how they see their community nowadays. Listening to the different voices in the network is part of thinking together.

Login to post comments


Voluntario Global helps local communities by being available to discuss anything that local organizations need, and offering ideas for further change and development.


Location: General Pacheco. Buenos Aires. Argentina
Email: jfranco@voluntarioglobal.org

© Copyright 2016 luppino.com.ar