Student Volunteer Motivations in a Student Support Centre for English for Academic Purposes Students
Keywords:Post-secondary Students, Motivation, Learning Centre, Volunteering, Self-Access Centre, English for Academic Purposes
The findings presented in this paper look at the motivations of volunteers who supported English for Academic Purposes students at a self-access Language Learning Centre at a university in Canada. It also importantly sheds light on the motivations of a less investigated aspect of volunteerism, that of non-native English speakers who provide support to English language learners. In this study, 90% of the volunteers were non-native speakers of English, with most being international students. The majority of the volunteers were also graduate students (90%). Thirty volunteers in total participated in the survey, with seven volunteers participating in the focus group study. The data gleaned from both the survey and the focus groups in terms of motivations were analyzed (the latter via a content analysis) and then placed into the categories of Clary et al.’s (1998) Volunteer Function Inventory. The analysis revealed that a strong motivating factor for many was career-related, with a secondary motive of learning through volunteering in the centre or of using previously unused skills at the centre. Additionally, 97% of the volunteer students surveyed stated their work at the centre was an opportunity to make new friends.
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Copyright (c) 2021 Joe Dobson, Hilda Freimuth, Ishka Rodriques
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