SPEAK. Building societies that accept, value and empower cultural diversity.

You may have noticed on our discussion groups and on our Facebook groups that we recently asked for our community’s help in voting on a new name for SPEAKs volunteer teachers, and you did not disappoint us! So, we would like to introduce, SPEAK Buddies! The new name for our wonderful volunteer teachers!

We are currently in the process of adjusting our manuals and our website for this change, but we are very excited to have a name that is both friendly and fun, and that our community likes as much as we do! With the opening of new summer courses at the start of May, we thought we would go through some tips for our fabulous SPEAK Buddies, old and new! So without further ado, here are 7 tips for SPEAK Buddies!



Communication: SPEAK courses focus primarily on communication, so get your groups talking in groups of 3/4 to get people participating with each other! The aim of SPEAK courses to get people comfortable and confident talking in a foreign language, and the only way to do this is to practise!


Movement: Most SPEAK sessions are one hour and a half each week. This is a long time to be sat listening! There is scientific evidence that says that people stop concentrating after around 40 minutes, so get people up and moving at least once per class to refresh their minds!


Games: Games are fun and inject a sense of healthy competition, so they are perfect for our sessions! Having one or two games per class is a great way to learn vocabulary AND keep the adrenaline going! Set a time limit to add some pressure to the game!


Partnership: We always try to ensure that there are at least 2 buddies per class, and it is super important to have a good partnership! This means being on the same page in all aspects of the class, but also getting on well together! Having a friend to work with makes the classes more fun!


Change of scenery: Why not one week hold the class somewhere different? Take your group to a coffee shop, or if it is good weather hold the session in a local park? Remember to inform the team if you decide to do this!


Mix it up: Immerse the group in the culture of your course by trying something different! Whether that’s going to watch an Italian film at the film festival, going to an authentic Portuguese fado night, or tasting homemade Japanese food, this will allow the group to bond and have fun.


ENJOY IT! It’s just as important that our SPEAK buddies have fun in these courses as the participants, so allow yourself to have some fun and enjoy the experience!



You can sign up to be a SPEAK Buddy here! We are always happy to welcome new members to the community! Don’t forget, for more tips and ideas for classes check out the SPEAK manual and our SPEAK buddies discussion group! We also run workshops at the start of each term, and you can always send us an email at info@speak.social if you have any questions.

SPEAK is a project with aims to connect migrants, refugees and locals through a language and culture exchange programme. Through our sessions and through our events, we encourage our members to integrate and become part of our community, helping those without friends or family in Portugal to feel a sense of belonging in their new city. We have thousands of kind and generous members in our community! Read more
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