About the Initiative
In July 2008, Mayor Bloomberg signed Executive Order 120 to reaffirm New York Cityâ€™s commitment to providing excellent customer service to all City customers. New York City serves a diverse populationâ€”immigrants and their children make up over 60% of the population, and 25% of New Yorkers are limited English proficient (LEP).
As part of this initiative, the Mayorâ€™s Office of Operations, the Mayorâ€™s Office of Immigrant Affairs, and NYC Service have launched NYCertified, to strengthen the skills of the Cityâ€™s language bank volunteers through a testing and training process in translation and/ or interpretation.
The free language assessments and translation/interpretation trainings will not be available after June 30th. Please consider becoming NYCertified now as this may be your final opportunity.
What is the purpose of NYCertified?
- Train and test City employee volunteers as NYCertified translators and interpreters
- Register and track all NYCertified translator and interpreter volunteers in one standardized database
- Increase the number of language volunteers and recognize their participation in the program
- Strengthen a culture around language volunteer services
Who can participate in NYCertified?
Any City employee with foreign language skills can participate. If you speak, read, or write in a language other than English, please consider volunteering by signing up to be NYCertified. Your participation in the Volunteer Language Bank will greatly enhance the Cityâ€™s ability to deliver language assistance services to LEP customers.
As a NYCertified volunteer, you will be:
- Participating in a standardized testing and training program
- Developing valuable professional skills
- Providing quality interpretation and / or translation for Limited English Proficient (LEP) customers
How can I learn more?
For more information, please send an email to NYCertified@cityhall.nyc.gov
We Are New York
About the Initiative
The We Are New York (WANY) Project, a partnership between the Mayorâ€™s Office of Immigrant Affairs and the City University of New York (CUNY), is a volunteer-led initiative that offers free English conversation groups to adult immigrant New Yorkers at partnering community sites around New York City. Since April 2010, WANY has helped over 4,500 participants practice English and learn about important city services by organizing over 500 conversation groups in all five boroughs.Â
With nearly 1.8 million limited English proficient adults and fewer than 40,000 seats available in traditional, publicly-funded English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes, WANY helps address the significant need to provide alternatives for those who want to improve their English language skills.
Who can participateÂ in the We Are New York Project?
Volunteer facilitators help immigrant New Yorkers practice English by leading conversation groups all over New York City. Scheduling is flexible with morning, evening and weekend placement options in all five boroughs.Â The only requirements are that the volunteer knows English, is outgoing, is interested in New Yorkâ€™s diverse immigrant population, and that s/he attends nine hours of WANY training. Sign up to attend a volunteer training by visiting www.nyc.gov/LearnEnglish
- Facilitators must attend six hours of initial volunteer training from the Mayorâ€™s Office before placement leading a group; there is also a 3-hour refresher training held after the third session.Â At the volunteer training, volunteers become familiar with facilitation skills, as well as with the WANY professional curriculum and materials that are used in the weekly conversation groups.
- Lead 10 two-hour conversation groups. Conversation groups are either weekly (two hours a week for ten weeks) or bi-weekly (4 hours a week for 5 weeks).
- Comply with weekly reporting requirements
NYC Community Organizations
NYC-based community organizations (schools, non-profits, libraries, churches, senior centers, etc) can offer 20 hours of free English conversation for up to 25 adult immigrants with WANY.Â If the organization can send a volunteer from its community to be trained by the Mayorâ€™s Office, WANY will provide the organization with free materials and support to host a conversation group. If the WANY office is notified at least 4 weeks before a community organization wants to host a conversation group, WANY staff will try its best to recruit a volunteer for the site. Sign up to host a conversation group by visiting www.nyc.gov/LearnEnglish
In setting up a conversation group, site sponsors are responsible for:
- Providing a suitable space to comfortably accommodate 20 participants
- Providing a DVD player and viewing screen for each session
In coordination of a conversation group, site sponsors are responsible for:
- Being present for the duration of the conversation group
- Being available to help volunteers with issues related to the site (technical, logistical, etc)
Free WANY conversation groups in all 5 boroughs are available for adult immigrants who want to practice their English!
Sign up to attend a WANY conversation group by visitingwww.nyc.gov/LearnEnglish