English Education Teacher

Before You Apply

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Project Description

The newly launched English Education project aims to improve the English language speaking, writing, teaching and learning capacity of students, teachers, schools, and communities in Nepal in order to improve access to academic and/or professional opportunities, information, and resources. The English Education Project has three primary focus areas:
1. Building the capacity of Nepali English Teachers so they can teach English more effectively
2. Increasing English skills among students in grades 5-8
3. Strengthening community support for English language learning

Volunteers will find themselves in the role of co-learner rather than that of expert when it comes to their individual and co-teaching practices. In essence, Volunteers and Nepali teachers will engage in ongoing professional dialogue and co-teaching so they can identify, implement, and reflect on effective classroom practices suitable for the context of teaching and learning in Nepal. By taking on the role of co-collaborator, Volunteers work together with their counterpart teachers to build capacity.

Volunteers with more teaching experience may find new challenges in grappling with finding the niche between best practices from past teaching assignments and best practices within the Nepali classroom. While building relationships and gaining trust among school leadership, teachers, and students, Volunteers will support Nepali teachers in developing their capacity to communicate in English and to teach English through the professional exchange of EFL (English as a Foreign Language) methods, techniques, and resources.

In addition to classroom teaching, Volunteers will also have the opportunity to work on a variety of projects that may include youth clubs, camps, school libraries, and girls’ education and empowerment initiatives.

Required Skills

Candidates must meet or exceed the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in any discipline with at least 30 hours of experience in teaching, tutoring, or related educational activities

• Creative and resourceful problem solving skills with emotional maturity and a cross-cultural awareness for building relationships

Desired Skills

• University degree in Teaching English, Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), English as a Second Language (ESL); or
• University degree in Early Childhood, Middle School, or Elementary Education; or
• Experience in facilitating extracurricular activities, including organizing social clubs or camps to promote education for girls and empowerment for youth;
• A demonstrated history of classroom teaching and/or an expressed desire to continue teaching after Peace Corps service.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

Volunteers use English as the teaching language during class. However, Volunteers will be interacting with teachers, principals, school management committee members, and their communities in Nepali. Towards increasing community support for English education, Volunteers will regularly use Nepali language to engage with families of students, local associations, and government officials in order to keep stakeholders involved and informed about the work and progress of Peace Corps. By the end of Pre-Service Training, Volunteers are expected to attain a level of Nepali language that will allow them to effectively integrate into the community.

Living Conditions

All Volunteers will live with a host family throughout the entire duration of their service. This aspect of living in Nepal is key to integration and language acquisition. Volunteers share meals with their family and also have the option to learn and cook for themselves. While Volunteers have their own room, privacy is limited so individuals should prepare for a communal style of living. Houses are generally built of bricks, mud or cement and have passed minimum earthquake-safe inspections conducted by the Peace Corps staff.

Most Nepalis eat rice, flat breads and legumes as their staple. Corn, potatoes, or other tubers are also eaten where available. Seasonal fruits and vegetables are consumed when available. Bread and noodles are available in most towns. Imported goods are available in the cities, but they are expensive. Meat is not often consumed, and maintaining a vegetarian diet would not be as challenging as it would be in other countries.

Volunteers usually walk several miles every day on hilly terrain to work with their communities. Travel may take up to one hour, and some Volunteers may be placed in hilly areas where use of bicycles is challenging.

Nepal has 4 distinct climatic seasons. There are great variations between districts where Volunteers are placed so you should be prepared to live in both hot and cold and rainy and dry weather.
Diversity Challenges
While Nepal is generally tolerant, values and mores concerning sexual orientation and gender identity may be different from those in the U.S. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms, and use their judgement to determine the best way to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities and host countries. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address this topic during Pre-Service Training, and identify support mechanisms for incoming trainees.

Volunteers can expect both challenges and rich opportunities in their cultural exchanges during Peace Corps service, as many Nepalis in rural communities are unaware of American diversity, and people are often curious about the nationalities of racial and ethnic minority Volunteers. Stereotypes do exist.

Dressing appropriately shows your community, colleagues and students that you are treating them with respect and that Volunteers, in turn, deserve respect. At school, women wear Kurta-Suruwal or saris. A long skirt to the ankles with a button down blouse and a sweater or shawl when it is cold may also be appropriate. Baring shoulders is not considered appropriate. Male teachers wear trousers, button down shirts with a collar, and closed toe shoes. For both male and female Volunteers, pants and a business-casual shirt can be used during your Peace Corps training events. Pants and more casual shirts can be worn during your down times.

While piercings of any kind for males is prohibited, it is generally acceptable for females to have pierced ears and/or a nose stud piercing. Volunteers will be expected to keep tattoos covered during their service. Peace Corps staff will expect Volunteers to demonstrate flexibility in regard to appearance so they can successfully integrate into their communities and so they can positively represent Peace Corps throughout Nepal.

For men, both long hair and beards are unacceptable and will have a negative impact on the overall image of Peace Corps. Male Trainees/Volunteers will be expected to maintain the same groomed, professional appearance practiced by their Nepali counterparts.

While Nepal offers a variety of trekking routes and extreme sports, applicants should be aware that for safety and security reasons, Peace Corps has restrictions the routes PCVs can use.
Working Hours
Volunteers teach English to students in grades 5 to 8 in government schools with 4-5 individual classes per day (Sunday thru Friday), and may co-teach a few classes per week with Nepali co-teachers. PCVs may not take leave while school is in session.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Nepal: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Couples Information

Peace Corps/Nepal accepts couples where both people will serve under the Education project. Peace Corps Nepal cannot accept couples serving in English and Food Security.

PCV Couples will be living together during Pre-Service Training as well as in the permanent site during two years of their service. Couple PCVs will be assigned to different schools in the same location.

Medical Considerations in Nepal

  • Nepal may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood; cardiology; dermatology; insulin-dependent diabetes; gastroenterology; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; some types of gynecologic support; seizure disorder; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: none identified. 
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: gluten.
  • After arrival in Nepal, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.

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