What is Jacari?

Jacari is a student-run Oxford University charity. Initially established as a political lobbying organisation campaigning against racial intolerance, we have evolved over the past fifty years into a home teaching scheme. We link students from Oxford University and Oxford Brookes with local children who speak English as an additional language.

Most of these children come from immigrant families. The majority only speak English as a second language, or get no English practice at home, and are thus disadvantaged at school.

Our volunteers visit children in their own homes for an hour or so a week, meeting their parents and often becoming good friends with the whole family. They deliver a targeted teaching session aimed at boosting the confidence and skills of their pupil.

Why should I get involved?

Jacari gives you the opportunity to see a very different side of Oxford, and break down the traditional barrier of town and gown. Teaching with Jacari enables you to give back to the local community and make a difference in the lives of disadvantaged children.

The practical help given by our student teachers is of lasting benefit, building confidence and broadening the opportunities of the children and families involved.

Jacari is also excellent for your CV, particularly if you are interested in working with children, young people, or immigrants in the future.

Do I need experience?

You need no qualifications or teaching experience to be involved in the Jacari programme, but you do need to be an enrolled student at Oxford or Oxford Brookes University.

Simply fill in the application form online. We will then send you details of how to complete a DBS check and attend a teaching induction.

There is plenty of support for our volunteers, and we fully expect you to develop your tutoring skills as you gain experience through Jacari.

How much time will it take?

We ask that you teach for one hour a week during the university term times. We expect a commitment of at least one academic year. You are welcome to commit more time if you choose!

You should also leave time for preparing a lesson (10-15 mins) and for travelling to your child’s home (most families live in Cowley or down the Iffley Road, so approximately 20-30 minutes travel)

I’m a visiting student. Can I join?

Definitely, as long as you join at the beginning of your time at Oxford and thus can commit for a year or more. There are certain additional requirements for international students. Please see the International Students page for more information.

What help do I get?

You will receive one of our teaching packs before starting which will give you an introduction to home teaching. You will also have to attend a one hour teaching induction to prepare you.

After you have had a couple of lessons, we invite you to a second session for more targeted teaching advice.

The coordinator is always on hand to answer queries and offer suggestions. We also have a library on the top floor of the Turl Street Kitchen with plenty of resources to borrow.

In addition, please take a look at our resources page for website recommendations.


Do I need to speak my child’s first language?

In teaching English as a second language you won’t be required to speak the child’s first language (though it’s fantastic if you do). One of your main roles will be to build the child’s confidence orally, so speaking English is all that’s needed.

How do I contact the family?

We’ll send a letter to the family of your child telling them you have volunteered to help them. We’ll then send you contact details of your child. It’s up to you to make contact and arrange your first visit by phone.

Are there any events organised for the children?

Yes! Trips, parties and games are a big part of Jacari. Every term we put on a number of optional events for volunteers and their children, from ice skating, to the Ashmolean Museum, to trips to the cinema.

On top of this we have socials for volunteers to meet, share ideas and have fun! See the Events page for further details.