Immigrants Services Society of BC (ISSofBC)
Settlement–Volunteer Programs

ISSofBC Volunteers play a key role in achieving the organization’s mission, “helping newcomers build a future in Canada.” Volunteers support newcomer immigrants to smoothly settle and integrate into Canadian society in many different aspects of the settlement process. One of the ways is to help newcomers learn more about Canadian culture and heritage and to help improve their communication skills and confidence in the English language.

Assignment Title: English Conversation Circle (ECC) Facilitator
Location of Assignment:

 

 

 

 

ISSofBC Langley
20430 Fraser Hwy
Langley, BC V3A 4G2

Delivery: In-Person
 

Vaccination Policy

 

 

Please refer to our volunteer website

Mandatory Vaccine Policy

Purpose

English Conversation Circle (ECC) is an informal, unstructured learning environment where newcomers to Canada can meet and interact with others (virtual/in-person); practice speaking and listening; improve conversation skills in various situations and settings. Volunteer facilitators for this program do not need to be qualified teachers—but enjoy connecting and talking with people from different backgrounds and support newcomers improve their communication skills and self-confidence.

Volunteer facilitators will provide a group of 5-10 participants and engage them to learn more about day-to-day conversation skills, Canadian values and heritage, and basic information on different themes and topics.

Key Duties & Responsibilities

  • Researches and prepares materials, topics/themes, simple session plans for upcoming circles
  • Facilitates the creation of community agreements
  • Conducts and delivers small group activities and games to facilitate English learning
  • Facilitates learning by engaging and encouraging participants to speak English
  • Provides support in defining words and concepts to increase/improve participants’ vocabulary
  • Provides participants with encouragement, guidance, and constructive feedback.
  • Guides the participants to speak English with confidence
  • Creates a safe and welcoming space where everyone feels empowered and can participate equally in the conversation
  • If doing online, assists with the online ‘lobby’ management (screening and admitting participants)
  • Enters volunteer hours on the specified volunteer database system.
  • Maintains confidentiality and privacy of participants
  • Participates in orientation, ongoing training sessions, weekly check-ins, exit interviews, and volunteer recognition

 Qualifications:

Knowledge

  • Familiarity/experience in group facilitation
  • Familiarity with online video communication platforms/conferencing apps such as Zoom and Telegram
  • Excellent command of the English language and communication skills
  • Advanced English level – Canadian Language Benchmark or CLB 9 or higher
  • Cross-cultural experience or commitment to learn about others culture

Skills, Abilities, and Attitudes

  • Ability to converse with people from various backgrounds and levels of English – Canadian Language Benchmark Basic CLB 1-4 and Intermediate CLB 5-8
  • Ability to exchange ideas with participants through communication, active listening, and non-verbal cues
  • Proven ability to build and maintain positive and professional relationships with participants, staff, and other volunteers
  • Good listener, flexible, patient, empathetic towards the newcomer participants
  • Creative and innovative
  • Adaptable and open to changing methods and plans of the sessions
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and can function well in a diverse cultural atmosphere
  • Demonstrates a genuine interest in learning more about newcomer experiences
  • Ability to work independently or with a co-facilitator

 Other requirements:

  • Volunteers for this role must be at least 18 years old
  • Completion of volunteer information session
  • Completion of training sessions, observe other online/in-person conversation circle sessions
  • If working online, access to a computer or laptop device
  • Access to a stable internet connection
  • Successful volunteer must submit proof of vaccination (COVID-19)

Boundaries and Expectations:

  • Always respect confidentiality
  • Respect participants decisions
  • Maintain professional relationship (exchanging of phone numbers is discouraged, engaging participants on social networking sites should be avoided)
  • Focus on the present, not the past, unless participants share
  • Avoid sensitive topics (politics, religion, issues that are sexual in nature)

 Risk Assessment, Support, and Supervision:

This volunteer position is medium risk. Volunteers at this position will require supervision at regular intervals. Support is always available whenever necessary.

 Training:

Volunteers for this position are required to complete the following:

  • Online Volunteer Orientation, Understanding Settlement, and Integration process
  • Online English Conversation Circle Facilitator Training

 Benefits:

Volunteers will have the opportunity to:

  • Access specific training for the role.
  • Learn more about the migration, settlement, and integration process
  • Request for Volunteer Confirmation Letter
  • Increase cultural competency and learn different perspectives in the lens of newcomer immigrants
  • Enhance facilitation skills
  • Add Canadian experience to resume (or close the gap)

 Time Frame / Level of Commitment:

  • Volunteers for this position must commit to at least three months or equivalent to 12 meeting sessions.
  • Potential volunteers must be available at least once a week for 2-3 hours, from January 2023 – March 2023
  • Weekday or Weekend (In-person)
  • Possible placement extension upon agreement
  • Period of volunteering – Short-term to long-term

 Application Process and Screening Measures:

  • Interested volunteers must fill out the online application
  • Once the application form is complete, the potential volunteer will undergo an in-person interview(following ISSofBC COVID-19 safety protocols)
  • Potential Volunteers must be willing to travel to the Langley office
  • The potential volunteer must successfully pass the vulnerable sector Police Information Checks through the RCMP, or the Criminal Records Check through the BC Ministry of Public Safety and Solicitor General
  • It will take at least 5 business days for us to contact you once your application has been received. The volunteer screening process generally takes 3 to 4 weeks to complete

Frequency of the recruitment for the position

We will respond to inquiries starting December 2022.

Staff Contact

For questions and clarifications, please contact:

Leo Cabasag
Coordinator, Volunteer Programs
Telephone Number: 604-351-4519
Email address: leo.cabasag@issbc.org