AEE 1142: How Massimo Skyrocketed His English by Volunteering in Boston

Have you ever thought about volunteering in an English-speaking culture as a way to get fluent fast in English?

Volunteering can provide countless benefits for the volunteer and for the community that he or she is serving.

Today we are lucky to have Andrew Bloniarz on the show. Andrew works at Haley House and worked closely with our listener Massimo at Haley House in the summer of 2018.

Today Andrew will show us why volunteering can help your English and how you can get involved with Haley House.

You’ll also see how volunteering can help you to gain a sense of community and to understand a culture on a deeper level in a way that traditional English-learning classes cannot.

Massimo’s Story

Massimo is a longtime listener of the All Ears English Podcast and was a part of the Urban Immersion Adventure with All Ears English in Boston in 2017.

In 2018 he decided to take his immersion to the next level and applied to be a volunteer at Haley House in Boston.

Haley House is a nonprofit association–the motto is “Food with Purpose.” It is a special place where people who may be in need of resources are welcome to come and enjoy a free meal and socialize with the community.

The soup kitchen has been in operation for 53 years now. There’s also an urban farm. The men’s breakfast is Sunday-Friday and the Elder Meal is lunch on Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday. Both are great events to be a part of.

These Opportunities Help You Master Skills

You can leverage an opportunity like this to improve your English.

When you look at Massimo, he used this opportunity to interact with guests which was great for conversation but he also refined other skills like pronunciation and grammar.

We noticed that Massimo’s grammar improved dramatically during the time that he was working at Haley House because he was learning it naturally.

He was in an environment where he was deeply immersed within the community so he was improving his English from the inside. This is a stark contrast to how most students learn which is with a textbook and looking at the language from the outside.

Volunteering Takes You Above and Beyond

There are so many wonderful benefits and positive aspects to volunteering.

One thing that tends to be missing in the world today is a sense of community–volunteering helps to create and reestablish that.

When Massimo volunteered there he was able to get a lot of face time and be a part of this community.

Not only did he have interactions with people where he was volunteering, but he was also interacting with the people who volunteer and work there too.

All of these interactions help somebody to improve their English, to be part of a community, and to grow as a person.

This is a great opportunity for a student or somebody trying to improve their English and skills overall.

A Sense of Community Is So Important

The only way to really appreciate and be part of a community is to be part of one–and volunteer opportunities allow that.

This may be a rather unusual or unique way of learning the language, but it’s all about immersing yourself in that local culture.

You get the added benefit of volunteering while you are learning to master your English speaking skills.

Takeaway

Volunteering is good for you on so many different levels.

If you are looking for a way to expand your English speaking skills, then this is a great avenue.

It immerses you into conversations that help you to practice and improve your English skills.

It also helps you to make important and lasting connections, and that’s what it’s all about!

How to Volunteer at Haley House

There are two ways to get involved with Haley House.

1- There are weekly breakfasts and they are always in need of volunteers. These are great if you are already living in Boston and you want to check it out. Go here to get more information.

2- The summer internship program is a longer- term option. Application information will be released in January of 2020. Visit here to learn about that.

Andrew’s Bio

I’m a recent college graduate living and working at the Haley House soup kitchen here in Boston. I’m passionate about community building, social justice, and food, and I’ve really enjoyed my time here at Haley House!

If you have any questions, please leave them below in the comments section.

We’ll get back to you as soon as we can.