Support Communication Skills Development Through Student English Club

Activity/project background

Partner: Letychiv Lyceum №1 (Government)

Letychiv Lyceum No.1 secondary school in Ukraine has 1,125 students from 12 surrounding villages. The school is requesting a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to work with students to improve their English language skills and confidence using English through activities such as: practice speaking sessions, vocabulary building exercises, and English language immersion.

The VSPP will facilitate a weekly 60-minute English-speaking club session for 15-20 school students, ages 14-16. Club participants are interested in discussing themes that mainly refer to social and cultural life of youth in the U.S.A., Canada, and other English-speaking countries. The VSPP will model the use of English in a natural way, share information about the culture, customs, and traditions of English-speaking countries, the likes and dislikes of American youth, and lifestyles of the American youth as well as other timely topics such as climate change, education, and travel. The club sessions will motivate students to practice their communication skills with a native English speaker and to develop respect and tolerance for other nationalities and cultures.

Letychiv Lyceum №1 has 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-develop a digital survey tool to determine the students’ learning needs, and analyze with teacher counterparts to assess the students’ speaking skills
• Collaborate to identify priority learning objectives and English club curriculum
• Co-develop lesson plans for creative, engaging enrichment activities
• Co-deliver English language activities online once a week (60 minutes per week)
• Co-create resource package (presentation on American and Ukraine cultures, fashion, traveling, audios, cards, etc.) to advance English speaking, listening, and cross-cultural understanding
• Co-provide feedback including suggestions for improvement or ideas for new activities
• Discuss and evaluate the efficiency of the materials used in the session with the counterpart, then plan how to adapt them for the next session

This engagement is expected to be approximately 27 weeks. VSPP is expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week.

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

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, WhatsApp, Telegram, 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’s degree in any field

• 1 year of English teaching experience
• Experience with facilitation of distance education using Zoom and online teaching platforms

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 degree in education OR relevant certification: TEFL, TESOL, Cambridge, or similar
Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

• 1 year experience of school teaching
• Experience working with refugees, Internally Displaced People, or people affected by conflict

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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