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niedziela, marca 13, 2005

Free Natives! English Language Volunteers in Poland

Free Natives! English Language Volunteers in Poland

News Poland
In from News Courier (Athens, Alabama, USA):

Two weeks in the countryside of Poland teaching young children the basics of the English language gave Cherry Anne Ward and Nancy Hightower an admiration for a resilient people not many years removed from the Soviet communist influence.

'Having recently joined the European Union,' explains Ward, "they think it's important for their children to learn to speak a common language. They chose English, the language of economics.

Ward and Hightower joined a team of 20 volunteers serving 8-10 schools in the Polish countryside east of Warsaw. Ranging in age from 20 to 78, the volunteers included a dentist, a doctor, a hospital administrator - even a former spy recruiter who now works in a prosecutor's office in New Jersey. More than half of them, says Nancy, had Polish backgrounds - a Polish grandmother who sang to them as a child, or some other cultural tie. Many had been on previous Global Volunteers expeditions.

That volunteer's experience reflected that of GV founder Bud Philbrook, who along with his new wife decided in the early 1980s to spend a honeymoon given to service. That first mission trip was the inspiration for GV, which gave rise to the concept of 'volunteer vacations' in which volunteers pay their own expenses and join teams to work on a selected project alongside native inhabitants.

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This story really brings to light the sharp division of access to English language learning between big cities and the rest of Poland. How many native English speakers here in Warsaw actually volunteer their services to local schools? Perhaps an opportunity exists to give back?

FAIR USE NOTICE This article contains copyrighted material, the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in the efforts to advance understanding of Poland's economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. We believe this constitutes a 'fair use' of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material in this article is distributed without profit for research and educational purposes.

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