Individual Volunteers

Do you want to make a difference? Have you felt the need to change someone’s life lately? Are you desperate to make a meaningful contribution to your local community but have no idea where to start? Hint: read on.

Far beyond just teaching practical English skills, our Volunteer Tutors assist students with basic, day-to-day activities, supporting them in pursuing pathways to employment or further education and helping them build confidence in their new life in Australia.

We’re now taking submissions for Volunteer Tutors to assist our students:

  • Migrants and refugees;
  • Adult literacy;
  • Indigenous; and
  • Youth.

No Experience Necessary

Yes, you read right. You don’t need to have teaching or tutoring experience to work with our students. Sure, it’s a bonus if you do, but all we really need is someone who ticks a few boxes:

  • A good level of written and spoken English;
  • Aged 18 years or over;
  • An Australian citizen or permanent resident;
  • Successful criminal history clearance;
  • Prepared to complete free tutor training with TAFE Queensland; and
  • Able to commit to the tutoring program for 12 months.

All looks good? Great. Let's see what’s in it for you.

Free Training

You’ll receive free training (online and face-to-face) to help you succeed in your role. The Volunteer Tutor Coordinator in your region will explain the requirements to you and, once completed, the training will make you eligible to tutor students in a classroom setting or one-on-one. You’ll cover:

  • Language, literacy and numeracy learning;
  • Cultural awareness; and
  • Basic principles of communicative language teaching.

Sound fun, insightful and deeply rewarding? We think so.

And while the course won’t provide you with a formal qualification to apply for work in Australia or overseas, what you will receive is a Statement of Participation upon completion of your training that you can frame and hang on your wall to remind yourself how awesome you are.

Flexible Hours and Locations

One-on-one tutors and students normally meet at the student’s residence, but you can choose other venues like shopping centres, cafés or libraries because public places usually have coffee and that’s a great source of motivation.

Times are flexible, too. You can tutor whenever it’s mutually convenient for you and your student; during the week, after hours, or on the weekend. And your contact time can start from as little as 1 hour a week.

See how easy it is to change someone’s life?

Where Do I Sign Up?

If you’ve got the warm and fuzzies just thinking about becoming a Volunteer Tutor, send us an email at volunteertutor@tafe.qld.edu.au with:

  • Your name;
  • Suburb;
  • Phone number;
  • Email address; and
  • The suburbs you can travel to for tutoring.

Alternatively, you can share your enthusiasm over the phone, by calling (07) 3244 5488 during business hours (8am – 5pm). We can’t wait to hear from you.

Community Group Volunteers

Are you in a local community group that runs English classes, conversation classes, or homework clubs? Firstly, thank you for contribution - you rock. Secondly, how does some free tutor training for your volunteers sound?

The Home Tutor Scheme Enhancement Program (HTSEP) supports the English language learning needs of migrants and refugees who are not eligible for the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) or have already used all of their allocated hours in the course. With your top-notch skills and the migrants’ willingness to learn, it’s a perfect match.

Pro: Tutor training is delivered both online and face-to-face. Hello, convenience. Con: Funding for the HTSEP is capped and only a limited number of these non-accredited short courses are offered each year, so pick up the phone sooner rather than later.

For more information about upcoming courses or to join the waitlist, contact the TELLS Volunteer Tutor Coordinator on volunteertutor@tafe.qld.edu.au or (07) 3244 5488 during business hours (8am – 5pm).


Together, We Can
Together, We Can

by Nick Baikaloff, Home Tutor

For the past year, I have been working with a delightful, recently-retired, Chinese couple.

Our strategy, which developed as we went along, was to utilise mutual support. Owen was able to communicate in English at a basic level, but his wife, Judy, possessed no spoken English and had difficulty with pronunciation of our vowel sounds.

Owen was highly motivated and used his Chinese-English dictionary whenever a new word appeared. We gradually changed this and concentrated on the meaning of a sentence, rather than precise interpretation, which often tend to mislead.

Without Owen’s help, Judy’s lack of English language would have created difficulties. As we know, teaching someone is the best form of acquiring knowledge (in this case, language), so through Owen’s interpretation and repetition, we were able to progress slowly with vocabulary at a basic level. The use of flash cards to identify familiar (to them) objects allowed us to all work together and begin to structure sentences related to the objects.

Other approaches are possible but I found that a ‘team approach’ removed any hesitancy of beginners in their attempts to pronounce what are, for them, unfamiliar sounding words. The other benefit of working together is that it breaks down the barrier which may or may not inhibit to a larger or smaller degree the motivation to ‘hang in there’. At this time, both of my students could be described as enthusiastic learners and I thoroughly look forward to seeing them progress.

Tutor Helps Student Branch Out
Tutor Helps Student Branch Out

After coming to Australia in 2009 and settling in Toowoomba, family man and gardening enthusiast Bao Cai Xu wanted to be able to communicate fluently in English and expand his social network.

Alongside his Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) night classes at TAFE Queensland South West, Bao was introduced to the AMEP Home Tutor Scheme (HTS) with volunteer tutor Martin Koorst.

“If it wasn’t for Martin willingly giving his time to help me, I still would not have the confidence to speak English and make friends in the community,” says Bao.

Martin adds, “By giving an hour of my week, I can make our city a better place for all residents to live and engage with each other.”

English Key To Doctor’s Dreams
English Key To Doctor’s Dreams

Colombian-born Isabel Giraldo is now a step closer to being a registered doctor in Australia, thanks to the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP).

Isabel needed to improve her English to ensure that she was able to pass the Occupational English Test and continue towards her dream of working as a GP in Australia.

After enrolling in the AMEP, Isabel was matched with volunteer tutor Beverley Tyrell and began studying English at home, which enabled her to care for her 10 month-old son.

With Beverley’s support, Isabel passed the Occupational English Test and they continue to work closely together.

“I enjoy supporting new migrants to learn English and the Australian way of life,” says Beverley.