Language Mentoring

The Language Mentoring scheme aims to help pupils develop their spoken foreign language fluency by increasing their vocabulary, confidence and awareness of modern foreign languages in the workplace.

Through this scheme, business colleagues meet with a small group of pupils in Years 9-13 (aged 13-18) who are studying a foreign language at school for GCSE or A-level. Most common languages are French, Spanish and German, although we can facilitate community language programmes too.

Volunteers meet with students for 1 hour every fortnight. There are currently over 70 volunteers working with 6 Tower Hamlets Secondary Schools.

How it works

This scheme is designed to be as flexible as possible. There are two different ways that the sessions operate, depending on which school you are placed in. The first way is that you attend fixed session times during the school day, during language classes or lunch hours, as organised with language staff from the school. The second way is that you and your students organise independently the days you would like to meet after school.

In both instances, sessions should take place once a fortnight during the school term, and last for about an hour. Sessions are either at your workplace or at the school, depending on each school’s guidelines. We ask for a commitment of one academic year (average of 15 sessions).


Before being matched with your pupil(s), you will receive training and guidance on how to ensure the pupils get the most out the sessions. Your Secondary Language Mentor Handbook contains session plans and activities to help you structure your sessions. You will then be invited to attend a matching and launch event at the school with your colleagues. Schools provide information and exercises on the qualifications syllabus.

You will also have to complete a Disclosure & Barring Service check, which we will provide for you. The pupils are also briefed by the school.

Online Training

Where possible we recommend that volunteers complete the face to face training offered by Tower Hamlets EBP. If you have been unable to attend a live training session, in order to participate in the scheme it is mandatory that before meeting your student that you complete our online training. For online training videos and instructions please see here.

How to volunteer

We welcome only teams of volunteers (a minimum of 6 people) from companies which are then partnered with specific schools in Tower Hamlets.

A Disclosure & Barring Service check is required.

Individual volunteers looking for a similar opportunity might like to take part in our Employability, Enterprise and Financial Skills events.

Register your interest for Language Mentoring

To find out more about this programme please contact Anita Kessie, Senior Project Coordinator - Learn More Team on [email protected] or 020 7655 0301.