Volunteers wanted to mentor English language learners, provide translation services [United Way column] | Together

Volunteers wanted to mentor English language learners, provide translation services [United Way column] |  Together

Communication is the exchange of information or news. It involves a sender, a message, a medium, a channel, a receiver, a response and a return. Communication has five main purposes: to inform, to express feelings, to imagine, to influence and to meet social expectations.

As human beings, it is essential that we can communicate effectively. Clear and effective communication allows us to express our thoughts and feelings, to interact with other people, to understand what is being said to us, and to create and maintain lasting and authentic relationships in our personal and professional lives.

In 1966, Roy Orbison released a single titled “Communication Breakdown” which included the lyrics, “When it’s good, everything’s fine / When it’s bad, everything’s bad / When it’s gone, everything’s gone. “

Everyone has had a time when communication went wrong or didn’t happen. Imagine how difficult communication can be when there are language or cultural barriers.

The following two organizations in Lancaster County offer language services to people with limited English proficiency – defined as those “whose primary language of communication is not English and who have a limited ability to read, write , speak or understand English”.

These agencies are also looking for volunteers to help adults and students improve their English speaking and listening skills.

The essentials of communication is a local social enterprise founded by Amer Al Fayadh to help individuals and organizations overcome communication barriers. They train bilingual and multilingual individuals to provide document translation, interpreting, language access consulting and diversity training services. These people are then put in touch with organizations that need help.

With a focus on recruiting college students, Communication Essentials introduces the concept of linguistic justice to students to prepare them for a more diverse work experience after graduation. Students are trained and matched with local nonprofits to “promote a healthy environment where everyone, regardless of background, feels empowered to speak up and be understood.”

Participants are trained in cross-cultural communication, ethical business communication, working with interpreters and the role of translator or interpreter. The services are provided free of charge. For more information on Communication Essentials or to volunteer, visit communicationessentialsllc.com or contact Amer Al Fayadh at [email protected]

Lancaster-Lebanon Literacy Council is looking for volunteer tutors to work with adult English language learners and adult students seeking their high school equivalency diplomas. They also need volunteers to work with students who are focused on improving their speaking and listening skills.

Volunteers are sought from Monday to Friday with time slots available in the morning, afternoon and evening. They ask that volunteers be available to meet three hours a week (preferably two sessions for

1h30 each). All volunteer tutors must have a bachelor’s degree and pass a criminal background check.

For more information, contact Jane Myers, Volunteer Services Coordinator, at 717-295-5523 ​​or [email protected]

To find other opportunities, visit uwlanc.org/volunteer. Volunteer Coordinators, please send your current and upcoming needs to [email protected]

Laurel Greer is Community Engagement Associate for United Way of Lancaster County.

Connie A. Bailey