If you’re a student who is learning English in NYC, you have your choice of ways to practice language skills outside the classroom. You can go to a show on Broadway to practice your listening skills, and there’s no doubt you’ve gone out to eat and practiced reading menus and conversing with servers. But there’s one valuable tool many students forget about: volunteering.
Volunteering is one of the absolute best ways to add to the experience of learning English in NYC. Non-profit organizations are always looking for volunteers, and whether your language skills are already quite developed or you’re just starting your studies, there are dozens of groups that would love to put you to work for a good cause. Here are some ideas to spark your interest:
Animal Care and Control – If you love animals, try working with a group like the ASPCA. Even if you don’t speak the language very well, you’ll be able to take care of animals, clean up after them, or volunteer your time in another way. You’ll hear others speaking around you and can practice your speaking skills with the animals–perfect for those who are nervous about striking up conversations with others!
Food Kitchens – Help serve up a warm meal to those who need it most. As a student learning English in New York, you’ll have another great outlet for practicing your English skills. You won’t be required to talk much for the work, but you may choose to chat with diners, putting your speech skills to the test and brightening someone’s day at the same time. Talk about a win-win!
Neighborhood Enhancements – Organizations like NYC Service depend on people throughout the city to improve the quality of life for those who live in various underprivileged neighborhoods. You can learn English vocabulary and practice your skills with other volunteers while gardening, doing outdoor improvement, working with senior citizens, or helping inner-city kids.