Support Teachers to Enhance their English and TEFL Skills

Activity/project background

Partner: Saraswati Vidyashram Secondary School, Lalitpur and Rajeshwori Secondary School, Sindhupalchowk (Government)

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. In addition to improving English language instruction, the government has initiatives to increase awareness about climate change and to support inclusive education of girls and disadvantaged groups.

In support of these initiatives, MoEST is requesting a Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) to partner with counterpart English teachers to increase their English language skills, intercultural awareness surrounding the language, and English language teaching skills. In collaboration with school counterparts, the VSPP may also work to incorporate gender and climate change components into lesson plans, activities, and the curricula. The program will also help the VSPP further develop awareness of the Nepali culture.

One of the teachers at Saraswati Vidyashram Secondary School worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer for about a year before the global evacuation. The other three teachers have not worked with a volunteer before. However, neither one of the schools has 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:

• Co-facilitate at least three sessions on increasing the counterparts’ fluency, grammar, pronunciation, and vocabulary by exploring and discussing English songs, movies, idioms, games, and current events
• Co-facilitate professional development discussions to strengthening writing skills in three areas such as crafting emails, letters, proposals, reports, CVs, or applications for academic and career opportunities
• 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: lesson planning, use of low-cost instructional materials, and effective classroom management skills to maximize student participation
• Co-craft at least five 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/or pronunciation, ensuring active student engagement. These lesson plans will model the incorporation of gender and climate change pedagogy
• Review current language teaching materials, identifying areas to incorporate gender inclusive and climate sensitive pedagogy such as building climate related vocabulary, use of climate materials as resources for teaching, and use of Culturally Responsive Teaching and Gender Responsive Pedagogy

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 6:00 pm and 8:30 pm Nepal time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom, Facebook Messenger, Viber, and WhatsApp 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
• At least six months of experience in teaching English/ESL/EFL, tutoring, or related educational activities
• 1 year of experience with teacher training or related experience
• Experience in working on projects promoting gender equity or empowerment

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, Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), or a related degree

Experience: 3 years of experience with secondary education, teacher training or related experience

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

Language: Basic Nepali

• Successful engagement with a Nepali English teacher exploring communicative teaching practices, and 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 in the climate smart approach to English language teaching and using culturally responsive teaching and gender responsive pedagogy

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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