Teach English Classes for Ministry of Foreign Affairs Executives

Activity/project background

Partner: Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Government)

The mission of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) in Benin is to formulate and implement the Government's foreign policy. Peace Corps Benin collaborates with the MOFA through the U.S. Embassy and has an official counterpart in the America Department. The MOFA would like to strengthen the English skills of its executives to facilitate communication with bilateral and multilateral English-speaking partners. The training curriculum may also support ministry executives to prepare for the TOEFL (Test of English as Foreign Language).

The Virtual Service Pilot Participant (VSPP) will help the Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ staff to better express themselves using conversational English on issues related to cooperation between the United States and Benin, as well as on current international news topics.

The MOFA has not previously worked with a Peace Corps Volunteer or 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:

• Develop and conduct an English language training needs assessment with 20 MOFA staff, splitting the group into two classes based on language level
• Based upon the assessment, design English language level-based curriculum, teaching aids and activities incorporating adult learning principles and methodology
• Teach 4-hours per week split into 2 hours per class level
• The classes will last one 1 hour each, one from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. and the other from 3:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m. Benin standard time between Monday and Frida
• Prepare staff to possibly take the TOEFL

This engagement is expected to be approximately 12 weeks. VSPPs are expected to engage in the tasks listed above for an estimated 6 hours per week. (4 hours of synchronous online teaching and 2 hours of asynchronous prep).

Meetings between VSPPs and Host Country Counterparts will take place during normal office hours, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Benin standard time and classes will take place one from 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. and the other from 3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Benin standard time between Monday and Friday.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Zoom or 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: Any master's degree with state certification in English, TEFL/TESOL/ESL/TESL, or foreign language.

Language: Intermediate French

• 5 years of language teaching experience
• 2 years’ experience of teaching adults in a non-formal class setting

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's degree in English, Linguistics, or Teaching (TEFL, TESOL, EFL, TESL)

Technical Skills: Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication

• 5 years’ experience of teaching adults in a non-formal class setting
• 5 years of TEFL/TESOL teaching experience in the USA 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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