English Education Teaching

Before You Apply

You can only have one active Peace Corps Volunteer application, so choose a position that best fits your skills and interest. You have the opportunity to tell us if you’d like to be considered for other openings and more about the ones that interest you most! See application process

Project Description

Teaching English as a Foreign Language Volunteers will be assigned to Colombian secondary schools. Among their responsibilities will be to co-teach English classes, engage in the creation of secondary education resources, curriculum design, and also facilitate staff professional development in these areas.

Volunteers should not expect to be assigned to “their own” class to directly teach Colombian Secondary level students, but rather to collaboratively assist their counterparts in the preparation of such classes. Volunteers may model classroom management and general English teaching strategies with these classes as part of their counterparts’ professional development process. Volunteers may be engaged in teaching English directly to the teachers of the school, and even those of neighboring schools.

Volunteers will introduce extracurricular projects to improve the English language proficiency of the students and community members with the aim of expanding their academic and employment opportunities. Volunteers are expected to increase the motivation to learn English and the participation level of their students.

All Volunteers are also expected to work Information and Communication Technologies for Development (ICT4D), Gender Equality and Youth Development initiatives. For example, many schools have recently received technology such as interactive TVs, iPads, and computer equipment. Volunteers will be asked to help train youth in the use of this equipment and use it in a way to make English learning more dynamic.

The communities where our partner schools are located have diverse needs. This will give you the opportunity to draw upon your personal talents, skills and interests to serve the needs of your community. Teaching English can be incorporated into many activities and secondary projects such as life skills, gender advocacy, health, nutrition, HIV/AIDS, youth development and empowerment, etc.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have a strong desire to teach English, and the following criteria:
BA/BS in any discipline with 3 months at 10 hours/month or 30 hours of TESOL/TEFL tutoring experience with primary school, middle or high school students or adults

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Masters of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in English, Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL), Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), English as a Second Language (ESL), Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), foreign language, or Applied Linguistics
• Master of Education (M. Ed.) with graduate or undergraduate concentration in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESL, TESL, or foreign language
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education with concentration in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESL, TESL or foreign language
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with Secondary Elementary Education state certification in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESL, TESL or foreign language
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESLo and TESL or foreign language with 6 months classroom teaching experience at the secondary level in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESL TESL or foreign language
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with classroom teaching experience at the Secondary Education level in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESL, TESL or foreign language
• 1 + years of Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL)/Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL) in primary school classrooms

Other skills:
• Demonstrated self-initiative, self-direction, leadership, adaptability, and/or flexibility.
• Strong public speaking, presentation, or interpersonal skills

Required Language Skills

Candidates must meet one or more of the language requirements below in order to be considered for this position.
A. Completed 4 years of high school Spanish coursework within the past 8 years
B. Completed minimum 2 semesters of Spanish college‐level coursework within the past 6 years
C. Native/fluent speaker of Spanish

Candidates who do not meet the language proficiency levels above can take the language placement exams to demonstrate their level of proficiency. Competitive applicants typically attain a score of 50 on the Spanish College Level Examination Program CLEP exam or a score of Novice‐High on the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL OPI).

Volunteers in Colombia are expected to use Spanish for their work and day-to-day activities. Among the other technical and cultural requirements, Trainees must demonstrate an intermediate level of written and oral proficiency in Spanish after 10 weeks of pre-service training to swear-in as a Volunteer.

Living Conditions

Work sites can range from small to medium sized rural communities and cities that are within four hours from a major city in the Caribbean or Andean regions. In the Caribbean region sites are hot and humid throughout the year, and with frequent electricity outages and water shortages. Seasons are divided into dry months with limited rainfall and months of frequent rainfall and high humidity.
In the Andean region the climate is colder, especially at night. In the Andean region there is also more rainfall throughout the year and the temperature fluctuates depending upon the time of year and varied weather conditions.

Volunteers usually commute by public bus and/or mini buses to get around and to attend training/working activities.

All Volunteers are required to live with a Colombian host family for the entire 27-month service in order to promote community integration and maximize volunteer security. The host family stay can be one of the more rewarding components of Peace Corps service and an important resource for cultural integration. As such, applicants should be flexible and committed to building strong relationships with the family they are assigned. Furthermore, Volunteers are expected to spend the majority of their time in the communities where they live and work. Because of this commitment to integrating into their communities, Volunteer vacation has to be taken only during the appropriate times of the year when local organizations are not functioning.

SPECIAL NOTICE ABOUT CITIZENSHIP: Candidates who are either dual citizens of Colombia and the U.S. or who were born in Colombia and became U.S. citizens after July 4, 1991 are not eligible to serve in Peace Corps Colombia. Under Colombian law, anyone born in Colombia who became a U.S. citizen after 1991 or anyone holding dual U.S. and Colombia citizenship is considered a citizen of Colombia, and not of the United States. If such an individual faced a legal, safety or other emergency situation in Colombia, the Peace Corps' ability to intervene would be limited. If you fit either of these categories, we encourage you to look at other assignments.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Colombia: 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

Colombia encourages couples to apply and will be assigned to the same community but have distinct work plans. Couples will have to live apart with a host family during the 10 week Pre-Service Training. As a Volunteer, couples live in apartments independently and are not required to live with a host family.

Medical Considerations in Colombia

  • Colombia may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: insulin-dependent diabetes; 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 Colombia, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and 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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