My husband and I are currently volunteering at the LDS missionary training center in Provo, Utah. We go once a week to the TRC (Teachering Resource Center) and let the missionaries practice teaching us in Mandarin. It's invaluable practice for them, and a blast for us!
I have to admit that when we first get a new group to work with, their Chinese is pretty rough. It's quite the mental exercise trying to figure out what they are trying to say. But it's amazing how fast they progress! Even two weeks time makes a huge difference in their language abilities!
It is also great practice for them to learn how to teach. They must come up with their own lesson, using words and phrases they have been taught, and following a guide they have been given. They have a subject to teach, and know what should be included. When I was a missionary back in cave man times, we had a memorized lesson. Today's method is much better, and truly helps them to become good teachers. They learn what kinds of questions work best. They figure out how they should organize certain kessons,
One of the things I like best about volunteering is the spirit we feel while we are there. These missionaries might be young, and are weak tools, but they teach with the power of God. It's a great opportunity to feel that each time they teach us.
Our current group leaves on December 30th to go to Taiwan. The last group had missionaries going to Irvine, California, London England, New York City, Canada, and Singapore. I have to admit that I'm a little jealous! But for now, I will content myself with meeting with them every Saturday morning. It's the best part of my week!