Enhance Students’ English Language Fluency & Critical Thinking Skills


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

Partner: Kamianets-Podilskyi Lyceum “Slavutynka” (Government)

The Lyceum “Slavutynka” teachers in Ukarine would like to continue sharing lingua-cultural sessions with students, as they believe that it is very important for students in times of uncertainty to boost their motivation and involvement in English learning activities. The mission of the school is to cultivate well-educated young people with developed soft skills, including problem solving, critical thinking, leadership, and social capabilities. Therefore, it is crucial to sustain students’ interest in English as the language of international communication, and as the means of continuous education to further professional development in many fields.

Collaboration with a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) will create a learning environment for students to practice English language skills and gain confidence in public speaking and debating skills. Lyceum “Slavutynka” is equipped with a wide range of technical facilities, such as multimedia classrooms and interactive whiteboards that can facilitate engaging sessions. Conversational club sessions will be held for two age groups - middle school students (11-13 years old) and high school students (15 -17 years old). Club sessions will take place once per two weeks for each group.

The Lyceum “Slavutynka” teachers have previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer. 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-plan and co-develop an engaging speaking club curriculum for learners of pre-intermediate and intermediate level of English, including a range of activities that incorporate students’ reflection and feedback and focus on speaking and listening skills development
• Co-assess students’ current knowledge and skills to identify the areas that require the most attention and focus on gaps during the online sessions
• Co-plan and co-facilitate 1.5-hour long learning sessions once every two weeks for each group of students (group #1: 11-13 years old, group #2: 15-17 years old)
• Provide feedback to teachers as they co-develop, adapt, and co-pilot lessons online
• Engage in presenting the different aspects of American culture and traditions
• Co-develop the resource package of at least 10 workshop session outlines with related materials and handouts

This engagement is expected to be approximately 16 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, between 3:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. Ukrainian time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom and WhatsApp 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 any field

• Desire and motivation to work with Ukrainian children, taking into consideration the challenges of war time
• 1 year experience in educating, guiding, or coaching students in schools, educational organizations, or youth clubs
• Experience in curriculum development

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: Bachelor’s in English, TEFL, or a related field

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Skilled in adapting to various learning styles and backgrounds
• Capable of offering students advice and direction on language learning tips, developing critical thinking, and debating skills

Experience: 1 year teaching English or facilitating English club activities either abroad or with students pursuing TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)

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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