Facilitate Conversational English Clubs for Students
Open to all RPCVs
Partner: Mihai Eminescu, Theoretical Lyceum, Cimișlia (Community-based Organization)
English language acquisition is extremely important in Moldova. For Moldovan youth, learning English opens a world of opportunities. This is especially true in the small communities in which Peace Corps Volunteers are placed.
Over the last three years, Peace Corps Moldova’s (PC Moldova) English Education Program Team has provided ongoing capacity building training to former counterparts in digital literacy, student centered teaching methods, inclusive practices, and facilitation skills. From the cohort of 40 teachers, PC Moldova has selected six outstanding teachers who plan to facilitate English conversation clubs in their schools this next academic year (September 2023 – May 2024). These clubs would greatly benefit from a native English speaking Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) who will bring the language to life and add cultural notes to the conversations.
Of the six teachers, there is one lead host country counterpart who has extensive experience working with Peace Corps Volunteers and managing English Clubs. Her school, Mihai Eminescu Theoretical Lyceum, has been facilitating after school clubs to support students who want to improve their English-speaking skills for decades. The school has been collaborating with Peace Corps Volunteers to teach students English as a Foreign Language since Peace Corps opened in Moldova 30 years ago. This Counterpart will serve as a point of contact for the group of six VSPPs and six English teachers and will host 1 hour bi-weekly check-ins for the group to reconnect and exchange experiences.
While the organization has previously worked with two-year Volunteers, they understand that the role of a VSPP is very different.
Virtual service engagement and tasks
The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:
• Co-develop a learning assessment tool to determine the learning needs of students
• Co-analyze the results of the learning assessment and identify priority learning objectives
• Co-develop a curriculum with a local Moldovan teacher for the English conversational clubs. VSPPs will be asked to share cultural sessions with different students to teach them about American culture, dance, music, games, and holidays
• Co-design teaching materials for English club participants, developing a resource pack of 10 session plans
• Co-facilitate English conversational clubs for a 1 hour duration, one to two times a week with a group of 10-15 students aged 8-19 years from one of six different schools. Expect to work 2-4 hours per week asynchronously to prepare for the lessons
• Meet bi-weekly with the lead counterpart, other VSPPs, and other English teachers to share experiences and plan for the weeks ahead
This engagement is expected to be approximately 16 weeks. It’s important to note that when school is closed for school breaks, the VSPP may not have synchronous sessions with students. They can use these weeks for preparation. 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 after school hours from 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m. Moldova standard time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.
The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Google Meet, Zoom, Google Suite, WhatsApp, and email for regular communication and collaboration.
Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present (the VSPP and the local Moldovan teacher).
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:
- To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
- To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
- 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.
Education: Bachelor’s degree in any field
Experience: 1 year of English teaching or English club experience in a foreign country or with TEFL students
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
Education: Bachelor’s degree in education, teaching, or related field
Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
Language: Basic Romanian
Experience: 2 years of English teaching or English club experience in a foreign country or with TEFL students
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.
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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