Enhance Linguistic Competence and Sociocultural Awareness of Students


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

Partner: Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy (ChNU) (Government)

The Department of English Philology and Methods of Teaching English of Bohdan Khmelnytsky National University of Cherkasy (ChNU) in Ukraine provides students with a comprehensive and high-quality education in English. They strive to develop well-rounded professionals who possess strong language skills, intercultural competence, and global perspectives.

ChNU seeks the support of a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to engage 20 students in linguistic and cross-cultural learning and discussions. The VSPP will co-teach one group of students with their counterpart and focus on thematic topics such as American values, democracy, cultural diversity, globalization, and cross-cultural communication. Online sessions will take place once per week and will be co-facilitated with the Ukrainian counterpart. The sessions will enhance students' linguistic abilities, cultural awareness, and motivation, while also providing professional development opportunities for a Ukrainian counterpart. Students and the counterpart will gain skills in digital technologies, as well as English and cross-cultural understanding.

Cherkasy National University has previously worked with Peace Corps Volunteers. They understand that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

● Co-teach one weekly 80-minute conversational English class to bachelor’s level students at 4:10 -5:30 p.m. Kyiv time
● Co-plan logistics, session outlines, class methods, and curriculum using virtual collaboration tools
● Co-train students and counterpart on developing presentations, managing projects, developing teaching resources, and providing feedback

This engagement is expected to be approximately 12 weeks. The VSPP is expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between the VSPP and the Host Country Counterpart will take place during normal office hours, Ukraine time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Google Meet, Skype, Google Classroom, Zoom, WhatsApp, Viber, and Telegram for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in humanities, linguistics, social studies, education, or related field

Experience: 1 year of teaching experience

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Master’s degree in in humanities, linguistics, social studies, education, or related field

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

● Experience training, teaching, or facilitating sessions with university students
● Experience facilitating virtual training sessions or workshops

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement-specific safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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