Volunteer

If you want to become a Volunteer Facilitator, please upload a cover letter and resume on careers online here. Tandem does not run during the summer, so we will accept applications for the first semester until Sunday, September 10th at 11:59pm.

Time Commitment:

  • Most weeks, you will simply be asked to attend and co-facilitate a weekly 1.5 hour tandem session (group meeting) at the Global Lounge (plus 20-30 minutes before and 10-15 minutes after the session for set up and clean up). However, there are also several training sessions, meetings, and events that we ask you to attend, which may occasionally increase your weekly time commitment to 5 hours total.
  • Must be available each week to facilitate during one of the following time slots, from January 16th to April 1st:
    • Mondays — 3:30-5:00pm
    • Tuesdays — 1:00-2:30pm
    • Wednesdays — 4:30-6:00pm
    • Thursdays — 5:30-7:00pm
    • Fridays — 1:30-3:00pm
    • Fridays — 4:00-5:30pm
  • Must be available for a 3 hour training session on Friday, January 15th 2017 from 5:00-8:00 pm (dinner provided).
  • Must be available to attend one, 2-hour long, team meeting per month.
  • Must be available to attend the End of Term Celebration at the end of March.

Responsibilities & Activities:

  • With a facilitation partner, attend and co-facilitate a weekly 1.5 hour tandem session (group meeting) at the Global Lounge (plus 20-30 minutes before and 10-15 minutes after the session for set up and clean up).
  • Send weekly emails to participants, containing information about upcoming sessions and events.
  • Keep attendance lists and contact absent participants.
  • Foster a sense of community within your session – encourage dialogue between partners, remind participants to sign up to bring snacks each week, and collect examples of new words and phrases learned by participants.
  • Ensure partner-partner interactions are running smoothly and that conflicts are resolved in a timely manner.
  • Use the tandem Conversation Guidebook materials to guide session activities.
  • Promote the tandem goals of autonomy and reciprocity throughout the weekly sessions while also emphasizing that every language is valuable and equal.
  • Collect feedback from participants for review at end-point of the program.
  • Maintain constant communication with the Program Coordinator and the Assistant Coordinator, and contribute to enhancing and expanding the UBC tandem program.
  • Respond to emails from participants in a timely manner. Please note that during the first 2-3 weeks of the program, while participants are getting to know their partners, changing schedules, and asking questions, there will be a very high influx of emails taking approximately 1 hour per week. The workload declines rapidly after week 4, with one or two emails per week.
  • If interested, there is the possibility to help illustrate the weekly Conversation Guides!

Benefits:

  • Gain experience in a less traditional foreign language methodology (i.e. outside the classroom).
  • Expand and enrich facilitators’ own classroom learning and/or teaching.
  • Gain intercultural experience.
  • Develop relationships and receive support from the tandem team of facilitators and staff.
  • Facilitation skills.
  • Have the opportunity to participate in the academic research that is currently going on around tandem.
  • Dedication to leading one session a week and undergoing continuous training.

Qualifications:

  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with an interest in interacting with tandem participants.
  • Punctuality and organizational skills.
  • Experience working with diverse backgrounds and an interest in different languages and cultures.
  • Interest in teaching and in second-language acquisition an asset.
  • Fluency in one or more additional languages an asset, but not mandatory. Especially useful: Arabic, Turkish, Mandarin, Japanese.
  • Interest in drawing or illustration an asset if you are interested in helping illustrate the Conversation Guidebook. Not a requirement for all volunteers.
  • Good sense of humor and willingness to have fun!