Every Thursday afternoon in the Language Centre at BSSC, Tony Merrett coordinates a homework club set up specifically for students for whom English is a second (or third!) language.

“Our role,” he said, “is to assist with things like vocabulary, sentence structure and the finer details of writing. The club is about building confidence with using the English language, and encouraging students to have a go. Even just a simple conversation is very valuable.”

“However, if we have students who are needing support with maths or science subjects, people from the maths department are available, as well as university students from La Trobe, such as Dental students, who offer guidance to our students in these subject areas.”

Students work either in small groups with a single experienced educator, or individually with a volunteer. “Our volunteers include retired teachers, community members with a knack for this kind of support, and uni students,” said Tony. “And we try to maintain the same tutor/student connection, because it helps build rapport.”

Last Thursday the whole hub was buzzing with multiple tables of BSSC students and a group from Bendigo South East College.

Part of the tutoring team were three Occupational Therapy students from La Trobe Uni. “We do this as part of our 2nd Year placement and it gives us experience in developing skills in rapport and engagement. Every week is different,” said Shannon.

Homework club is an elective for EAL students. Clearly one that is very popular.