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Tips for ENGin volunteers: Supporting Ukrainian Students Facing Wartime Hardships

The picture shows an light bulb as a symbol of the blackout in Ukraine and ideas for ENGin volunteers to support students

In light of the ongoing power outages in Ukraine affecting students, ENGin volunteers play a crucial role in supporting their buddy’s English language learning journey during these challenging times. With online sessions often disrupted due to unstable electricity and internet connectivity, it's essential to adopt strategies that maintain continuity and foster progress in English language mastery. Find tips for volunteers from the ENGin team below:

  1. Whenever you cannot meet for an online session, one effective approach is organizing a written chat session using messaging platforms like Telegram or WhatsApp. These sessions, typically lasting 30 minutes, allow volunteers and learners to discuss planned topics through written communication. This not only helps learners practice their writing skills but also enhances vocabulary development and improves spelling and overall written communication abilities.

  1. Another valuable technique is the exchange of voice messages, though it still requires a better internet connection. This method mimics spoken conversations and enables learners to engage in discussions on various topics. Listening to and analyzing these messages helps students improve their fluency, identify pronunciation errors, and refine their grammar through self-correction.

  1. Now, let's think about writing activities. Assigning writing tasks such as emails, essays, or stories on interesting and controversial topics serves multiple purposes. It encourages creativity by incorporating 5-6 new words for learners to use, while also promoting critical thinking and expression in English.

  1. Reading together in English and subsequent discussions further enrich the learning experience. Volunteers can assign specific reading materials, agree on the number of pages or articles to cover before the next session, and prepare comprehension questions to ensure understanding and stimulate dialogue.

  1. Encouraging students to record short video blogs (vlogs) can be a beneficial pastime. This practice allows learners to express their emotions and daily experiences in English, and continue practicing English even outside of the sessions.

Overall, flexibility in scheduling is crucial amidst unpredictable power disruptions. Clear communication about cancellation and rescheduling policies helps manage expectations and ensures smooth coordination between volunteers and learners.

Therefore, establishing contingency plans is essential. Volunteers and students can agree on a reasonable wait time before canceling a session due to connectivity issues. Moreover, planning for same-day rescheduling of missed sessions helps maintain momentum and consistency in learning efforts.

In summary, by implementing these supportive strategies, volunteers can empower ENGin learners to overcome challenges posed by power outages, ensuring they continue to progress and master their English language skills effectively. These efforts not only reinforce educational goals but also promote resilience and adaptability in both volunteers and students alike.

We are extremely grateful for ENGin volunteers understanding and support during these difficult times.


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