English Education Teacher
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact Peace Corps domestically and internationally.
The information provided for each assignment is subject to change, including the tentative departure date.
Madagascar’s Ministry of Education has recognized the importance of English language education in developing an international workforce for continued education, medicine, technology, tourism, and beyond. Madagascar’s Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) project aims to help meet this goal by promoting interest and skills in the English language among middle and high school students.
As an English classroom teacher, your primary assignment will be to teach English at a high school and/or a middle school. The Ministry of Education actively supports the program, valuing the contribution of all Volunteers that serve in English language education. As Peace Corps Madagascar has also received requests from some Universities and has successfully worked with them in the past, there might be some University assignments.
Volunteers will participate in Peace Corps’ TEFL training program which allows them to earn a Peace Corps TEFL Certificate upon successful completion of program requirements. This program provides 120 hours of standardized training and practice teaching along with two years of supervised teaching experience framed through quarterly online learning events facilitated by post staff. This training is designed to respond to the goals of TEFL Volunteers. The Certificate program is validated by the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC. The US State Department and the English language learning sector worldwide have touted Peace Corps’ TEFL Certificate program as a high-quality, game-changing credential.
As an English teacher you will also work with local English teachers to improve their English skills, to share different teaching techniques, and to jointly develop new pedagogical materials for use in the classroom. Additionally, you will work with local teachers and school staff to develop their socio-emotional skills to help them engage students in socio-emotional learning. Furthermore, you will help to build teachers’ capacity through Communities of Practice and certification programs.
You may also involve the broader school community in your work by organizing evening English classes for adults, broadcasting English shows on local radio stations, or creating extracurricular clubs for students.
Another component of your responsibilities will be to get involved in your community during school breaks. These breaks are a great opportunity to develop more hands-on activities like organizing trips and leadership camps with counterparts and students or secondary projects such as malaria awareness campaigns, gender equality workshops, and/or starting environment clubs.
Peace Corps Madagascar promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges in your country and you will have the opportunity to implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During your service, you will work with teachers to promote gender-equitable teaching practice and look for ways to work with community members to promote gender-equitable norms and increase girls’ sense of agency. As part of your work, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.
Volunteers are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop which not only increases options for internet access, but also enables Volunteers to complete required assignments off-line and upload them at a later date. While Volunteers may also complete the assignments through local internet cafes or other access points, having a laptop will facilitate successful participation in training particularly in this time of the covid-19 pandemic in which many trainings have shifted into online or blended learning. You are encouraged to purchase insurance for your laptop in the event it is damaged or stolen.
COVID-19 Volunteer Activities
In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.
• Competitive candidates will have a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline and a strong desire to teach English
Experience Teaching English as a Second language (TESOL) or Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)
Experience tutoring, mentoring or working in schools, after school programs, and/or with young adults
Strong desire to teach English in school and community settings and to adapt teaching methodologies to Madagascar’s educational system
Required Language Skills
There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.
Volunteers will be required to learn Malagasy language. It is essential for successful Volunteer service.
Trainees who do not reach minimum language skills by the close of Pre-Service Training may not be sworn-in as Volunteers.
In limited ways, French language skills can be useful in some areas of the country. It is recommended that Invitees consider taking an intensive French course before departing for Madagascar, as Peace Corps provides no French language training. Volunteers will not use French in their daily lives and work, but French is often a transactional and technical language: newspapers, tourist activities, or technical reports by partner organizations may utilize French.
Madagascar’s terrain is rugged and diverse, with drastic differences in climate from the Coast to the Highlands. Infrastructure is poor; short distances require long travel times, often over muddy and deeply-rutted roads. Volunteers must be willing to serve in communities with very cold temperatures in the winter, or hot temperatures year round. Living conditions can vary greatly from one Volunteer site to another. Volunteers should be flexible, resilient, and willing to live in very modest conditions in any region where PC Madagascar works.
During service, Volunteers live in private one or two-room homes. Housing material depends on the region, with walls made out of local wooden material in the Coast and mud/brick/concrete in the Highlands. Volunteers have individual outdoor bathing rooms, and will have individual or shared latrines with a maximum of one family. Many Volunteers do not have running water or electricity.
Most communication is conducted by cell phone, sometimes with poor reception. Volunteers can bring an unlocked phone or purchase a phone in country, though options are more limited. Call costs are based on the amount of minutes used/texts sent, and are deducted immediately from a pre-paid balance. Incoming calls and texts, even from the US, are free. Most Volunteers will have limited internet access in their communities. Phone data is slow and expensive, though some apps and providers offer discounted data rates. Wifi is available in most Regional capitals, and some district capitals.
Peace Corps staff collect letters and packages from the Antananarivo Post Office, and Volunteers can get their mail at the main office in the capital, or wait for staff/fellow Volunteers to bring mail from the capital to a nearby town. Mail can take up to two months to arrive. Some Volunteers open local P.O. boxes near their community.
As needed, Peace Corps can provide a bike, helmet, and basic bicycle maintenance training. You will also be required to regularly walk/bike between 3-10 Kilometers to reach a main road or an outlying village where community partners live and work.
In Madagascar, rice is the staple. Other foods include cassava, sweet potatoes, potatoes and corn. Meat/fish could be expensive or difficult to find depending on the region where you serve. Fish is more present on the coast, while beef/chicken/pork is mainly consumed in the highlands. If meat or fish are not available, a variety of beans and nuts can be used as sources of protein. Vegetables vary by region but most of them are grown in the Highlands. Strict vegetarians and vegans may be challenged, especially during pre-service training. Volunteers should be mindful of food customs in Madagascar, turning down a plate of food containing meat may be seen as rejecting a gift. Volunteers have found it possible, but difficult, to maintain a vegetarian diet in Madagascar.
While people in Madagascar may be generally tolerant, values concerning sexual orientation and gender identity may be different than some parts of the U.S. Same-sex marriages are not permitted under Malagasy law. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms, and use their judgment 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.
The cultural environment of Madagascar is extremely social and welcoming. Most Volunteers find it very easy to make friends. Although Madagascar has a rich history and fascinating culture, it is one of the poorest countries in the world; many Volunteers experience emotional reactions to poverty and all that correlates to it. Volunteers must be emotionally mature and prepared to manage stress from living in such different conditions.
Malaria is highly endemic and Volunteers must be prepared to take chemoprophylaxis without exception.
Serving in Madagascar
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Madagascar: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.
Couples applying to Madagascar’s Education sector must both qualify and be competitive for this TEFL Teaching Volunteer position. Peace Corps will try to identify homes with more living space than those that are provided to single Volunteers; however, married couples must be prepared to live with one host family for the duration of Pre-Service Training.
Madagascar is a patriarchal and conservative society. In Madagascar, the male is often seen as the head of the family. Couples will often face situations where the community seeks to first listen to the husband. Couples have to find their own culturally appropriate strategies to challenge their coworkers about their views on gender roles and gender equality. As in many patriarchal societies, Malagasy people tend to believe that men are more capable to conduct intensive manual labor compared to women (such as agriculture, for example). Therefore, couples must find ways to support each other when faced by these different gender roles expectations.
Couples will share the same house with more living space compared to houses provided to single Volunteers – both in training and throughout service.
Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.
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