Support English as a 2nd Language Program for Spanish-speaking Nurses

Activity/project background

Partner: Guyana Ministry of Health, Department of Health Sciences Education (Government)

The Guyana English as a Second Language (ESL) program for Internationally Educated Nurses (IEN) aims to help Spanish-speaking IENs increase their fluency in English. The first phase of the implementation of the ESL program will take place at Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). GPHC employs Spanish-speaking nurses that would be able to practice more independently with improved English skills. GPHC currently has a basic English program, an “Online Nursing English” training platform developed by Studiorum, which will be used to enhance the ESL training at GPHC. This online English program, developed by nurses for nurses, reflects the necessary clinical vocabulary and scenarios applicable to a wide range of healthcare settings. Learnings from phase 1 of the ESL program will be adapted and expanded to other healthcare facilities in Guyana through the Health Sciences Education Department in the Ministry of Health.

The Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) will be a facilitator of the program and will help to coordinate the learners, monitor the progress of the learners, address learner challenges using the program or being able to successfully complete modules, and evaluate the success of learners in the program.

The Guyana Ministry of Health has not previously worked with a VSPP. 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:

• Assist with new learner entry process, orientation, and pairing with a language partner
• Support partner to monitor and track learners' timely completion of modules and progress through the course in database
• Co-assess and co-address learner challenges with partner to ensure course completion, meet technical challenges, and to propose and develop solutions to improve the program
• Co-evaluate the success of learners including the review and analysis of assessment results, report development and timely feedback to learners and program implementors
• Provide where applicable emerging approaches and technologies to manage the program and to improve English language training content
• Co-facilitate weekly 1:1 and group classes for 20 students who are not excelling in the online curriculum or provide additional practice for those that want to go above and beyond to increase their learning potential

This engagement is expected to be approximately 26 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, 8:00 am – 4:00 pm Guyana time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Microsoft Teams, Zoom, WhatsApp, & 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 or relevant certification: TEFL, TESOL, Cambridge or similar

Language: Intermediate Spanish

Experience: 1 year of TEFL/TESOL teaching experience in the U.S.A. or abroad

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 secondary school education or English

Technical Skills:
• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Recognize individual learning needs and accurately
• Use English and Spanish effectively to communicate

Language: Advanced Spanish

• Experience in the health care system or medical field
• 3 years TEFL/TESOL teaching experience in the U.S.A. or abroad

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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