The Language Liaisons Scheme is one of the London office's longest running pro bono and responsible business programmes. We help GCSE and A-Level students in Tower Hamlets improve their conversational French and Spanish language skills while introducing them to the culture of the countries which speak those languages.
Herbert Smith Freehills volunteers from across the London office, act as long-standing mentors to help the young people grow in confidence and ability. The mentors help the students to identify areas of their studies which they need to focus on and plan the fortnightly sessions with a focus on those themes, always with the students' engagement and enjoyment as a priority. A key part of the initiative is the volunteers helping students experience new cultures and the sessions are tailored to introduce this. At the end of each academic year all of the students and mentors go on a group outing to celebrate the students' achievements.
Volunteering for Language Liaison is a real pleasure. We get a huge amount of engagement from the students, and the sessions are always good fun. I think the students appreciate the chance to practice outside of the classroom, in a setting where they get to set the agenda and work on their own priorities.
John Taylor, Partner