Talk English comes to Calderdale and Wakefield!

Ever wanted to teach ESOL?Talk English
Worried you don’t have the skills?

Volunteer as an ESOL teacher with Talk English!

Volunteer to teach learners on Talk English Courses and help people to improve their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

The Role
Teaching ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) is a rewarding yet challenging experience. Focusing on the things people need to do in their everyday lives, such as going shopping, using public transport and going to the doctors, you will help learners to develop their speaking, listening, reading and writing skills.

Volunteering as an ESOL teacher is a great opportunity for you to gain experience and develop new skills while making a difference to peoples lives. By volunteering with Talk English you will gain experience of teaching, working as part of a team and working with learners from all over the world. You will also develop your communication, presentation and organisational skills.


What’s expected of volunteer ESOL teachers?
Volunteers will be expected to commit to a minimum of 2 hours a week for at least 12 weeks to co-teach one class a week with another volunteer in a community setting. The classes are for up to 15 learners with low level English skills.
Classes will take place in Calderdale or Wakefield only.

What training and support is available?
All volunteer ESOL teachers will be expected to attend and complete a training course to prepare them for their role.
We offer a 45 hour non-accredited training course which introduces the role and responsibilities of Talk English volunteer ESOL teachers and ESOL teaching, learning and assessment methods and resources. Throughout the course volunteers will be expected to complete assignments before doing a micro teach in front of their peers to demonstrate inclusive teaching and learning.
Volunteers will be provided with an induction and initial training before teaching starts and a range of learning materials to use in classes. Throughout the project, volunteers will be able to access teaching resources and continue with their training.
Training will take place in Calderdale or Wakefield only.

The Person
If you’ve got an interest in helping others, want to develop news skills, can commit to a minimum of 2 hours a week to co-teach ESOL in a community setting and able to attend the training course then we’d love to hear from you!

The Location
The WEA Yorkshire and Humber Talk English project will be running in Calderdale and Wakefield. You don’t have to live in these areas but you would need to be able to travel to one or the other to be eligible for this programme.

Want to know more?
If you would like to find out more about this opportunity please contact Adam Roe on 07966 254 323 or email You can also find more information on the Talk English website

Look forward to hearing from you!



Stuart was an active member of the W.E.A. He came to the W.E.A with extensive practical experience through his work and an insatiable appetite for knowledge. Over a period of about fifteen years he attended numerous courses, developing a particular interest in art history and the history of buildings and places. He also completed an archaeology degree from the University of Sheffield in 2011, and was able to contribute his practical insights into discussions of local history.

Stuart also supported the W.E.A as an active member of Doncaster Branch. He began by attending branch meetings and promoting the work of the Branch. Stuart was elected Vice-Chair before becoming Chair, a role he held from 2008 until his death earlier this year. Aware of the legacy and wider impact of the W.E.A, he was always determined to keep the Doncaster Branch alive and flourishing for future members.

We will miss him as Chair, fellow member, a student and as a friend – but his memory will live on in the continued work of the Branch.

“other ways to be doing archaeology”

My name is Hannah.
I studied Archaeology BSc at the University of Bradford, where I recently graduated. I first heard about WEA and the Inclusive Archaeology project at a community dig in Leeds, that was run by both WEA and the Yorkshire Archaeological Society. The dig comprised of excavating an area of the front garden of the office of YAS in the Little Woodhouse area of Leeds. The dig ran over a weekend, and included different aspects of archaeological processing, such as the setting out of a grid square (for planning), two types of survey techniques (Earth Resistance and Magnetometer) and pre and post excavation workings (such as filling in context sheets and cleaning artefacts found). West Yorkshire Archaeological Service were also on hand to teach and explain. Bits of pot were found and the remains of an old garden path was found within one of the trenches. Students on the WEA Inclusive Archaeology Project took part in this dig.

On the last day of the dig I was told about the volunteering opportunities within WEA for helping teach Archaeology to adults, and that a new group was to be starting in a few months in Huddersfield if enough interest was shown. I was put into contact with the project officer who gave me details for the taster session where I met the tutor, Sarah Holland, and some of the people interested in taking the course.
The taster session went well and enough people showed an interest for the course to be able go ahead.

Since the course started I have supported the tutor and students both in the classroom and on visits. I have particularly enjoyed helping out in the activities and the discussions that were brought on by them – such as during an activity where cards with pictures of artefacts and other cards with pictures of their modern equivalents are shuffled around on a table. Pairs were then drawn, and comparisons/changes were discussed, and the question of ‘why’ came up and was then answered amongst themselves. I have also enjoyed meeting the learners, and being a learner myself learning about the history of Huddersfield.
The opportunity to volunteer on this WEA project has been beneficial because I had not thought of relating Archaeology with teaching. Being part of this project has given me a little experience with working with adults in a relaxed teaching environment, and has also made me realise that there are other ways to be doing ‘archaeology’.

The Story of Katie Purdy – volunteer on the Inclusive Archaeology Project

Volunteers are vital to the work the WEA does, and are involved in a variety of roles. This is the first post in a series that will introduce some of the many volunteers in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Katie Purdy tells her story of volunteering with the WEA:-

“I was in the first year of my Part Time Masters degree in European Prehistory at Sheffield University when Victoria Beauchamp and Nicola Thorpe came to the University to tell us about the project. I had studied Archaeology as my Undergraduate degree and have always wanted to train people and teach them about the subject. After the presentation I instantly knew the project was right for me and something I was eager to volunteer on. A few weeks later I went along to the taster session for the course at Burton Street and met the tutor, Sally who said she was happy for me to volunteer with the group. Over the next 10 weeks I came along and supported Sally’s teaching within the classroom as well as on a number of field trips. My most memorable and enjoyable of these was the one to Heeley City Farm in Sheffield where we got to build part of an Iron Age round house and really get muddy! The learners loved the experience and so did I! The best part of volunteering with the group was seeing the ways that the learners engaged with and enjoyed the different activities we did over the weeks. Despite having a  number of learning difficulties they all really seemed to understand and enjoy the course and learning about archaeology, which gave me a great sense of happiness and pride.

I loved volunteering on the first course and couldn’t wait to volunteer with the next Sheffield group. In March 2013 I began volunteering with an Occupational Therapy group based in Sheffield on another Introduction to Archaeology course. This course was structured slightly differently, with the first 7 week course being classroom based in the local library and the second 7 weeks course being spent in the field surveying a local area for potential archaeology. I loved being able to have discussions with the learners from this group about local heritage as a number of them had grown up in the local area and were surprised at the amount of archaeology right on their doorstep. Many of them enjoyed the initial course so much they are looking to volunteer on some local projects during summer 2013. Helping them to understand and explore their local history and archaeology in the area and seeing the enjoyment and satisfaction the learners took from the course gives me a great sense of pride and happiness to share my passion for Archaeology with them!

I also recently had the opportunity to help plan and deliver a workshop for volunteers and members of the public for the WEA Volunteers Day in York. I loved planning the activities and being able to share my passion for Archaeology and experiences of volunteering with other volunteers from the WEA as well as members of the local community. I designed a timeline of York and asked people to place pictures of objects and places from in and around York where in time they thought they dated from. This was a great experience because I was able to discuss the archaeology of York with people, many of whom didn’t know objects had come from York! Again I really enjoyed the experience of being able to share my knowledge and passion for a subject so many people are interested in.

I have loved every minute of volunteering with the Digability project and I am hoping to continue volunteering with the WEA in the future. I am also hoping to complete my PTTLs qualification in the autumn and go on to tutor either on the project or with the WEA in the future.  Volunteering with the WEA on the Digability project has allowed me to develop myself professionally and gain valuable skills I hope to develop further in the future and begin teaching my own lessons. The project has allowed me not only to use the skills and knowledge I gained during my degree but also give something back to groups in my local community. Archaeology is such a public and social subject that evokes interest and emotion from almost everyone I speak with about it. The Inclusive Archaeology Education project allows for people who perhaps would have more limited access to the subject to learn, participate in and ultimately enjoy archaeology!”

Volunteering with the WEA has certainly had a positive impact on Katie, who has able to contribute to and benefit from the experiences she has had so far.

If you are interested in reading more about the WEA Inclusive Archaeology Project then visit the website (, where you can find out what different groups of budding archaeologists have been doing on the course throughout the region.

It would be great to hear from other volunteers, and from tutors and students, about the role of volunteering in the WEA.