Support Teachers’ English and TEFL Skills and Intercultural Knowledge

Eligibility

Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

The MoEST (Ministry of Education, Science, and Technology) in Nepal has identified that an increase in qualified English speaking instructors in rural areas can strengthen the ability of the education sector to meet its own goals of increasing English learning opportunities to all citizens. Furthering positive education outcomes among students will require the professional development of teachers. Policy makers and education leaders recommend that all students be taught by teachers who possess knowledge of best practices along with adequate English language proficiency in speaking, listening, reading, and writing.

To complement government initiatives, the Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) will partner with counterpart English teachers to increase their English language skills, intercultural awareness surrounding the language, and English language teaching skills. The program will also help the VSPP further develop awareness of the Nepali culture.

Saraswati Secondary School and the counterpart teachers had been working with a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV) before the global evacuation. This is also one of the potential schools for a PCV placement when volunteers return to the country. The school is located in a peri-urban setting of the district headquarters.

While the role of a VSPP is very different than that of a PCV, both the partner schools want to keep preparing themselves for working with a PCV by continually developing awareness about American culture and learning American English and student-centered teaching methods.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

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

• Facilitate at least three sessions with counterparts to increase fluency, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary by exploring and discussing English songs, movies, idioms, games, and current events
• Co-identify and co-use at least five online resources for developing English language skills
• Co-explore and co-appreciate at least three intercultural aspects of the English and Nepali languages such as American and Nepali holidays
• Co-craft at least three lesson plans with each counterpart teacher and co-identify/co-develop materials and resources for teaching English language skills and aspects such as listening, speaking, reading, writing, vocabulary, grammar, and pronunciation, and ensure active student engagement
• Collaborate to increase the English teacher’s ability to access and adapt strategies and tips for effective English teaching or general teaching skills. Topics may include at least three of the following: Develop skills in lesson planning using features of communicative language teaching, design and use low cost/no cost instructional materials, identify and use online professional development resources for TEFL, strengthen the English teacher’s use of procedural English in the classroom, or develop effective classroom management skills such as maximizing student participation

This engagement is expected to be approximately 12 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 between 5:00pm and 10:00pm Nepal time on weekdays. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Facebook, Zoom, WhatsApp, and Viber for regular communication and collaboration.

Bi-weekly check-in calls with counterparts along with Peace Corps/Nepal staff will be held on Zoom during a mutually agreed upon hour between 7:00am-11:00am Nepal time on weekdays.

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 of arts/bachelor of science in any discipline

Experience: Experience in implementing communicative lessons, discussion groups, or learner-centered activities that promote group work, critical thinking, or gender equity in the classroom.

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:
• University degree in education, Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), or a related degree
• TEFL/TESOL/CELTA/DELTA certificate

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Experience:
• 30 hours of experience in EFL/ESL teaching, tutoring, or related educational activities
• Successful engagement with a Nepali English teacher exploring communicative teaching practices
• Experience designing low cost/no cost instructional materials in the English language classroom that are locally available
• Experience in teaching at a teacher training department at university
• Experience in teaching, tutoring, or facilitating training virtually
• Experience in training, coaching or mentoring teachers to improve their teaching skills
• Experience living or working in Nepal

Partner background

Name: Shree Saraswati Secondary School, Putali Bazar Municipality Ward no-03 Gairikhet Syangja

Type of entity: Government

Mission and goals:

The school is working to achieve the following goals:
1. To encourage all the children from targeted groups to get enrolled at the school.
2. To promote child-friendly learning environment.
3. To strengthen the school's library and internet facility.
4. To improve English communication skills among teachers and students.
5. To help produce competitive human resources.

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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