English Education Teacher
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 teacher, your primary assignment will be to co-teach English with a counterpart at a high school and/or a middle school. The Ministry of Education actively supports the program, valuing the collaborative 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 competitive university assignments.
Volunteers will participate in Peace Corps’ TEFL Certification Program, providing an opportunity 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. The training enables TEFL Volunteers to effectively work with communities to meet students' language learning goals. The TEFL Certificate 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.
Consistent with research on the importance of interaction for language learning and development, as an English Education Teacher, you will work side-be-side with local English teachers. You will exchange knowledge on different teaching techniques, and work jointly to develop new pedagogical materials for use in the classroom. You will learn together about the Socio-Emotional Learning Approach to foster communication and understanding among stakeholders. Furthermore, you will become a partner with local English teachers in the Communities of Practice and certification programs.
You are encouraged to involve the broader school community in your collaborations by co-organizing evening English classes for adults, broadcasting English shows on local radio stations, or co-creating extracurricular clubs for students.
Building partnerships between Volunteers and community members is the Peace Corps approach to development. Your responsibilities include getting involved in your community during school breaks. These breaks are a great opportunity to co-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 co-implement gender-related activities that are contextually appropriate. During your service, you will partner with teachers to promote gender-equitable teaching practices 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 pre-service trainings utilize blended learning.
COVID-19 Volunteer Activities
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 the Malagasy language or a dialect. It is essential for successful Volunteer service, community integration and connection, as well as daily living. Trainees who do not reach minimum language skills by the close of Pre-Service Training may not be sworn-in as Volunteers.
French language skills can be useful in limited ways in some areas of the country. Volunteers will not use French in their daily lives and work, but French is often a transactional and technical language. For example, newspapers, restaurants, tourist activities, or technical reports by partner organizations may utilize French. Peace Corps Madagascar does not provide French language training.
Madagascar is the fourth largest island in the world and one of 17 megadiverse countries. Its terrain and climate are diverse. Volunteers are placed throughout the country and conditions can vary greatly from one Volunteer site to another. Volunteers should be flexible, resilient, and willing to live in very modest conditions with inconsistent electricity or running water.
• Housing: During service, Volunteers live in private one-room or two-room houses. House material often depends on the region, with walls made out of local wooden material on the coast and bricks in the Highlands. Volunteers have individual outdoor bath houses and shared or individual latrines, but often inconsistent water or electricity. Some communities may have access to generators or solar chargers that can provide electricity/battery recharge, but that is not standard.
• Communication: Almost all communication is conducted by cell phone. You will receive a local SIM card shortly after your arrival. Bringing an unlocked cell phone from the U. S. is preferred. You will have an opportunity to buy a phone if you do not bring an unlocked phone. Call costs are based on the number of minutes used and texts sent and are deducted immediately. Incoming calls and texts, even from the US, are free. It is possible for many to access very slow internet or messaging apps through the purchase of local data plans for smartphones.
• Transportation: On a case-by-case basis, Peace Corps may provide a bike, helmet, and basic bicycle maintenance training to assist you in daily routines such as biking to nearby markets or visiting sites around your village. You may also be required to walk or bike between 3 to 10 kilometers to reach a main road or an outlying village where community partners live and work.
• Food: In Madagascar, rice is the staple. Other foods include cassava, sweet potatoes, potatoes, and corn. Meat and fish can be expensive or difficult to find depending on the region where you serve. Fish is more present on the coast and beef and chicken in the Highlands. A variety of beans and peanuts can be used as source of protein. Vegetables vary by region but most are produced in the Highlands. Madagascar is graced with wonderful, though seasonal, fruits such as pineapples, peaches, plums, bananas, etc. But during the off-season, specific fruits may be unavailable and unevenly distributed across country. You will do your shopping at the local market, but some items might have to be purchased at a larger town nearby. Strict vegetarians and vegans may face challenges and will need to remain flexible, including during Pre-Service Training. Volunteers should be mindful of food customs in Madagascar; turning down a meal because it has meat may be seen as rejecting a gift. Volunteers have found it possible but difficult to maintain a vegetarian diet in Madagascar.
• Culture: The environment of Madagascar is known as social and welcoming. Volunteers are generally welcomed, but Volunteers of diverse backgrounds may experience challenges. There are support networks and trainings in place for navigating these challenges.
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.
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 Trainees.
Heterosexual couples wishing to apply to Madagascar must both apply to the same sector.
Madagascar is a patriarchal society, so the male is often seen as the head of the family. Some 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 engage their co-workers about their views on gender roles and gender equality. As in many patriarchal societies, women may perform comparable labor, but have limited social, economic, or political power. Therefore, couples are supported by staff, peer-support network, and community partners on effectively supporting each other when navigating these different gender roles expectations.
The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples, and same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized. Because of this, same-sex couple placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements. During the application process Recruiters and Placement Officers work closely with same-sex couple applicants to understand current placement opportunities. For more information please visit: https://www.peacecorps.gov/faqs/lgbtq/.
Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.
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