Merton Home Tutoring Service is for adults who want to learn English and volunteer tutors who want to teach it. Our service is specifically for people who cannot get to classes for various reasons.
By providing people with the chance to learn English, Merton Home Tutoring Service hopes to enable them to communicate fully with others and to encourage their participation in local and national activities.
It is hoped that, after a time, most learners will be able to go to formal classes of English language in a college, where they will be able to follow a course leading to qualifications.
One to one lessons in the home from a friendly tutor or in small classes mean that people gain self confidence in the English for every day life in England. Learners usually want to communicate better with teachers, doctors, health visitors and others. They may want social English, so they can chat to neighbours or make new friends from different communities. They may want to gain confidence after a period at home, aim for employment or a qualification. Tutors with their local knowledge can signpost the way to information and to formal education. With improved English, learners can go on to discover information for themselves, access services independently and meet people from different communities. All want to support themselves and their families. They become more able to help themselves and their families understand, adapt and participate in life in the UK. English is the key to that participation. One-to-one or small class teaching mean that individual needs and wishes of learners can be addressed, and specialised classes developed.
Now that MHTS is on a stronger financial base for the next two years, the Trustees are developing an expanding programme for this year and beyond.
Learners are all adults, and most of them are women. They come from a range of backgrounds. Previous opportunities for education differ widely, as do their life experiences. About half our learners are refugees: they come from Afghanistan, Colombia, Ecuador, Somalia and Sri Lanka. The rest come from Bangladesh, Ghana, India, Italy, Morocco, Pakistan, Poland,Turkey and other countries.
The reasons people cannot get to formal classes are many: they include disability, having young children, an inability to travel to classes or the cost. Little or no experience of formal education, cultural reasons and lack of confidence may all be significant barriers. Ineligibility for fee-reduction because of immigration status may also prevent attendance. Merton Home Tutoring Service prioritises those with the least English, those in greatest need with fewest options, and those who have particular difficulties with literacy in English.
Potential learners are referred to MHTS through education and health services, other charities, friends and families. The Home Tutor Coordinator and someone from the assessment team visit each learner at home and assess their English. Then they introduce a trained volunteer tutor to suit their needs or signpost to other appropriate services.
Volunteers give their lesson free.
Home Tutors teach once a week for an hour. Learners must be able to provide a quiet room and do their homework. At holiday time, or when a change of day or time is wanted, both learner and tutor must discuss this beforehand.
It is hoped that, after a time, most learners will be able to go to classes of English language, where they will be able to follow a course leading to qualifications. For some, this will not be possible.
Stepping Stone class teachers run their class once a week, usually for 2 hours or so, in term time only.
If you would like to refer someone to MHTS, complete our referral form fully, with relevant details about the person you are referring. Please include your own contact details, because we may need to get in touch with you. Click here for a Referral form. Or contact Sophie Johnstone (Home Tutoring Coordinator) or Juliana Wong (Stepping Stone class Coordinator).
Volunteer tutors and teachers come from a range of backgrounds, languages and cultures, a third born overseas. Volunteering gives them a chance to get to know about other people living in Merton and their ways of doing things. They learn a lot about the English language and they join a group doing the same thing, meeting up regularly. It is fun, but it is also very worthwhile. Learning English leads to a real change in learners, and their abilities to connect with local people.
Volunteers need to speak standard English fluently. Teachers are qualified in teaching English to speakers of other languages, and DBS checked. They teach classes in Family Centres or Children's Centres. They attend the tutor training course if they wish.
Tutors need to be able to travel to the learner's home, complete the 18 hour initial training course and obtain DBS clearance. They are expected to give the learner one hour for teaching, and at least 1 hour for preparation. They need to attend regular Update meetings, and to commit themselves for at least 6 months following training.
Tutor training courses take place at the Wimbledon Guild for Social for Social Welfare, 32 Worple Road, Wimbledon twice a year. This gives an overview of different aspects of learning and teaching a language. It allows time for looking at the resources and books available. It prepares tutors for teaching one to one in the home. Once the course and DBS check are completed, MHTS try to match a suitable learner as soon as possible, taking into consideration the preferences of the volunteer, and how easy it is for them to reach the learner’s home. One of the assessors go with the volunteer to the learner’s home and introduce them to each other. Learner and tutor can agree on the time and day for the lesson.
Preparation for the lesson can take an hour or more and some tutors like to work together on this, especially to start with. They also keep in contact by phone, email or Facebook to discuss their tutoring. In addition, tutors meet up at least onece a term to compare notes and get further input. Every tutor is contaced regularlay by their Team Leader to discuss progress, and to help with any issues.
Ongoing support for tutors from the two Coordinators and others is available via email, phone or at the Wimbledon Guild on Thursdays. There is a lending library of teaching resources for tutors to use then.
The Stepping Stone Co-ordinator visits teachers in their work place as well. The Co-ordinator administers the course, providing assessment at the beginning and end of each term. Teachers attend a formal staff meeting each term.
Volunteers find great pleasure in seeing how much their learner progresses. It is very interesting, and great fun getting to know someone from another background and we know that both learners and volunteers enjoy the experience.
If you are interested in volunteering, and would like to join the next training course, please contact the Coordinator for more information or download a copy of our application form by clicking here.
The Trustees are very grateful for the generosity of The Big Lottery Fund "Reaching Communities", kind private donors, Merton Council, and the Wimbledon Guild for use of their facilities. Most especially we are grateful for the tutors and teachers who give their time so freely.
We are a Registered Charity . We depend on grants, donations and the goodwill of volunteers. We are always very grateful for donations to help with:
Donate by cheque
Make your cheque payable to Merton Home Tutoring Service, and send it to Merton Home Tutoring Service, Guild House, 30/32 Worple Road, Wimbledon, SW19 4EF
MHTS has now published twenty-one readers in simple English about every day life in Britain. These are available for £3 each, with £1.50 for post and packing. Read more on the Readers page.or get in touch.
Our AGM was held on 5th November 2016. You can read our Annual Report here. MHTS held its seventh birthday party at the same time in the St Mark's Family Centre, Mitcham.
We enjoyed looking back on another very successful year. That success extends well beyond the organisation itself and into the lives of learners and tutors. MHTS gives a useful service in the Merton community.
In October 2016 lots of friends and supporters came to a quiz night and fund raising meal in St Mary's Church.
It was a chilly evening, with a lively quiz mistress, music, a feast and friends.
The questions were hard but spirits were lively. Libby Asher was a witty and indefatigable MC. Many thanks to all those who came, successful or not. New friends were made, since the evening offered a great opportunity to get to know some of our tutors, teachers, volunteers and friends of the charity.
A most rewarding and enjoyable fundraising event.held a fundraising lunch at Khanage in Morden. It was a wonderful success when forty friends of MHTS attended for a delicious meal and a warm and friendly time.
Our founder Dr Ruth Dawson was awarded Merton Volunteer of the Year Award by the mayor of Merton at a large ceremony in the Civic Centre in 2013.
Training courses introduce volunteers to the charity to teach English one-to-one with sessions on safety and language.
The next training course will be in Spring 2017. If you are interested, please email email@example.com as soon as possible.
You can read the programme for the course here.
Some of the feedback from courses:
MHTS has produced twenty-one booklets about daily life in Britain, aimed at level 1 (to 2) readers. MHTS is selling these to aid our work. They are £3 each plus post and packing, with discounts for bulk orders.
You can see some sample pages here, for evaluation purposes only:
Merton Home Tutoring Service now provides eight Stepping Stones classes for English, aimed at helping learners prepare for formal college classes and for everyday life in the UK. Classes are in small groups of up to 12, some for women only. They are free, although there is a small optional contribution to cover the charity's cost of refreshments and copying. There is a free crèche available for some of the classes. Classes are at Entry 1 or 2, with a specialist Reading and Writing class and English Conversation classes.
The classes are in:
If you or someone you know is interested in the Stepping Stones classes, either to attend or to help, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org