Support TEFL Training for University English Teachers


Open to all RPCVs

Activity/project background

The highest priority of Peace Corps Armenia’s TEFL project is to support English language teaching in rural Armenian communities that have limited access to educational resources and opportunities. The American University of Armenia (AUA) Open Education program (Open EDU) extension program, also works to ensure that rural communities have equal access to programs which build knowledge and skills.

COVID-19 has severely impacted the educational system in Armenia, and schools have been offering virtual instruction on and off for nearly two years. Regional Open EDU teachers need special support as they work to meet the needs of their communities. Based on a recent assessment, the regional teachers could benefit from building in skills in several areas, including: teaching writing, grammar, reading, vocabulary, speaking and listening; essay composition and critique; using technology in the classroom; mastering IT tools for online learning; improving time management; and gaining overall strategies to make teaching more effective and engaging.

Open EDU is requesting VSPPs to provide professional development in TEFL to regional English language teachers. This project builds on several years of collaboration during which Peace Corps Armenia TEFL Volunteers participated as presenters and guest speakers at AUA educational workshops and conferences. While the partner understands that the role of a VSPP is very different than a two-year Volunteer, the project will advance the priorities of Peace Corps Armenia’s TEFL project by helping regional TEFL teachers develop professional skills. It will also allow Peace Corps Armenia to reconnect with TEFL teachers and potential PCV counterparts, and raise interest in future collaboration in communities which have yet to host a PCV.

Virtual service engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:
• Collaborate with Host Country Partner to identify four to six training topics, such as using technology in the classroom, teaching writing, grammar, reading, vocabulary, speaking and listening
• Plan and facilitate four to six 60-minute training sessions on the topics selected
• Attend bi-weekly check-in meetings with their counterpart and Peace Corps TEFL staff to monitor the project

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 during normal office hours, Armenia Time (UTC +4). Specific times will be determined during orientation. The club session hours will be adjusted to the VSPPs’ time zones.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, a laptop, email, and Facebook Messenger 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

• 2 years of TEFL classroom teaching
• Experience conducting teacher training sessions

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

• Master of arts OR
• Certificate in TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language)

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

• Experience in planning and delivering online teacher training sessions
• Experience in using technology in the classroom to enhance English proficiency of students

Partner background

Name: American University of Armenia Open Education Program (Open EDU)

Type of entity: International NGO

Mission and goals:

The American University of Armenia (AUA) Open Education program (Open EDU) supports AUA’s mission as a center of academic excellence that contributes to the development and advancement of Armenia and collaborators. Open EDU serves Armenian communities through accessible and quality educational opportunities for people of all ages, helping them learn new skills, acquire advanced qualifications or upgrade individual professional rankings to gain competitive advantage in the job market.

Open EDU focuses on multiple areas of learning, and offers extensive English Language Education Courses.

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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