Previous experience of teaching Mandarin is not essential to volunteer for this project. The majority of ALMA's volunteer tutors do not have any teaching experience. The learners you meet will be aware of this and should guide you in the kind of help with Mandarin language that they want. If your student is enrolled in a Mandarin course, they will probably ask you to help with assignments or to give them speaking and listening practice.
Opportunities to improve your English skills The majority of students have beginning level Mandarin skills, so discussion in your meetings about Chinese language and culture will probably be mainly in English. This should give you plenty of practice in speaking and listening. If you want a more formal language exchange arrangement or specific help with some aspect of English, discuss this with your student at your first meeting. Most students are happy to help you to practise English, particularly speaking.
Teaching resources The ACT public libraries, particularly Dickson and Tuggeranong, have a wide range of Chinese language resources that you and your students can view and borrow.
How the project works ALMA will provide the contact details of someone in the Canberra region who seems to meet the requirements you have outlined in your registration form (e.g. time and place for meetings, preferred age range and level of Mandarin). It is then your responsibility to contact them to arrange a first meeting.
At the first meeting we suggest both sides discuss what they hope to gain from the tutoring experience so you can decide if you want to continue to meet. ALMA recommends that, for reasons of personal safety, you arrange to meet the learner in a public place, especially initially.