Co-teach English as a Foreign Language in a Public Secondary School

Activity/project background

Partner: Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic (Government)

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic (Ministry) has had a long working relationship with Peace Corps. Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) have successfully co-taught and co-planned English in public schools in the Kyrgyz Republic for 29 years. The Ministry would like to extend this relationship into the virtual world and is requesting Virtual Service Pilot Participants (VSPPs) to support public schools in achieving the mission and the goals to improve education set forth by the Ministry.

Counterparts, directors, and regional educational authorities have expressed interest in continued engagement with Peace Corps through support from VSPPs to benefit teachers and students alike.
The VSPPs will primarily engage in technical training for counterparts and/or other groups of English teachers. Each VSPP will be paired with at least one teacher counterpart at an approved Ministry secondary school. The counterpart will collaborate closely with the VSPP on their activities.

The Ministry of Education and Science of the Kyrgyz Republic has previously worked with a PCV. 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-create a work plan for co-teaching and co-planning English lessons for secondary school students. This work plan would include times, dates, formats (synchronous/asynchronous), platforms to be used (Zoom, WhatsApp, email, etc.) for both co-planning and co-teaching
• Co-plan and co-teach a minimum of one English lesson per week with a Kyrgyz Republic teacher in English for students at a public school, (estimated 1-2 hour sessions per week) during the school semester.
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 the week and/or weekend, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Kyrgyzstan time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, 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.

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 field

Experience: Experience in teaching or tutoring with primary, middle, or high school students or adults

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 of arts in teaching in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESL, TESL, foreign language, applied linguistics, or a related field

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Language: Intermediate in Kyrgyz or Russian

• Experience training ESL/EFL teachers
• Experience in curriculum development
• Experience developing classroom management practices
• Experience teaching English as a second language
• Experience with distance learning

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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