Cannington-based teacher talks up the power of volunteering

Mike Slingsby is a Conversational English Volunteer and runs classes at the Cannington Library.
Picture: David Baylis
d493335.
Mike Slingsby is a Conversational English Volunteer and runs classes at the Cannington Library. Picture: David Baylis d493335.

A KEEN interest in sharing a love of language combined with a passion for teaching led Mike Slingsby to volunteer as a conversational English teacher at Cannington Library.

Having previously trained and worked as a teacher of English as a second language, Mr Slingsby found the transition into volunteering came easily.

During his two-hour class at Cannington Library, Slingsby covers all aspects of practical, modern-day English for his class, which has people from India, Romania Taiwan and Vietnam.

Mr Slingsby said he loved language and volunteering, and the classes allowed him to marry them together.

“I really enjoy seeing the concerned expression that hides a question, teasing the question out, and then the ‘light bulb’ moment when participants understand what I’m trying to get across,” he said.

“I do this because I love it; an undeniably selfish motive and I’m just very lucky that my interest brings a benefit to others. I really appreciate people turning up each week to listen to me and take part in the classes. Here I get the joys of teaching but without the admin, the tests and without the need to stick to a curriculum.”

Mr Slingsby said he often used Community News papers such as the Canning Times to help teach his classes as the articles were generally relatively easy to read and understand, although he admitted the headlines did cause some difficulty for his classes.

The City of Canning highlighted Mr Slingsby’s efforts as part of National Volunteer Week.

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