English Education Teaching

Project Description

Since the Peace Corps first arrived to Nepal in 1962, Peace Corps Volunteers and host community members have demonstrated an impressive record of achievement, and Peace Corps service is more relevant than ever for supporting communities in recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

At the request of the Government of Nepal, Peace Corps Nepal launched its English Education Project in February 2019 placing Volunteers in government schools with Nepali counterparts to teach English in grades 4-8. The English Education Project has three primary focus areas:
1. Support the capacity building of Nepali English teachers so they can teach English more effectively.
2. Increase English skills among students in grades 4-8.
3. Support the strengthening of 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.

While building relationships and gaining trust among school leadership, teachers, and students, Volunteers will also support Nepali English teachers to communicate in English and to adopt best practices for English as a Foreign Language methods, techniques, and resources.
In addition to classroom teaching, Volunteers have the opportunity to work alongside counterparts on a variety of projects that may include youth clubs, camps, school libraries, and girls’ education and empowerment initiatives. Volunteers will promote gender equity and will support students from marginalized communities in the achievement of positive education outcomes.

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.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will meet the following criteria:
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science in any discipline and a strong desire to teach English.
• 3 months, 10 hours/month, or 30 hours of English, foreign language, or literacy tutoring experience with primary, middle, or high school students or adults.

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Bachelor’s 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).
• Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood, Middle School, or Elementary Education.
• 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.
• Experience integrating climate change awareness and action into English language teaching and extracurricular activities.

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. With the goal towards increasing community support for English education, Volunteers will regularly use the Nepali language to engage with families of students, local associations, and government officials 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 enable them to effectively integrate into the community.

Living Conditions

All Volunteers live with a host family throughout the entire duration of their service. Volunteers share meals with their host family and have the option to learn and cook for themselves. While Volunteers have their own room, privacy is limited so individuals should prepare for communal-style living. Homes in Nepal are generally made 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 staples. However, corn, potatoes, other tubers seasonal fruits and vegetables are consumed when available. Bread and noodles are available in most towns. Imported goods are available in the cities but are expensive. Meat is not often consumed and maintaining a vegetarian diet is feasible.

Volunteers may walk up to two miles every day on hilly terrain to reach school; travel to and from school may total 1 hour. While Volunteers are placed in separate communities across several districts, proximity to the nearest Volunteer is normally within a 4-8 hour walk or a 3-hour jeep ride. Considering Volunteers serve in the mid-hills region of Nepal, bicycle travel is usually the exception rather than the norm.

Nepal has four seasons. The average temperature ranges from 41-68 degrees in winter and 73-95 degrees Fahrenheit during the hot season. June-September is the monsoon season when it rains almost every day. There are variations between districts and Volunteers should be prepared to live in hot and cold weather. There is no central air or heat in Nepali homes.

While Volunteers can charge their electronic devices in their homes, households generally limit their use of electronics due to cost and availability of electricity. Some communities have schools, government offices and other locations that offer Wi-Fi. Peace Corps Nepal provides Volunteers with a basic smartphone and data package and some Volunteers may choose to purchase additional internet data as they see fit. Running water and hot showers are rare and most households use a latrine-style toilet located outside of the house.

Volunteers teach 4-5 individual classes per day (Sunday-Friday) and can use time within and outside of the school calendar to support co-curricular and extracurricular activities. The school year begins in April and Volunteers are permitted to take breaks when school is not in session. In addition to occasional public holidays, longer school breaks generally include about 30 days in June/July, 15 days in October/November and 15 days in April.

Knowledge and acceptance of LGBTQ+ community members in any host community may be limited. LGBTQ+ Volunteers will need to be mindful of this lack of knowledge and use their judgement to determine the best way to approach sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities. Staff will address this topic during Pre-Service Training and throughout service to identify support mechanisms for Trainees and Volunteers.
Volunteers can expect challenges and opportunities in their cultural exchanges during Peace Corps service. Many Nepalis are unfamiliar with American diversity and are often curious about the cultures of Volunteers from different backgrounds. Stereotypes exist and Volunteers with backgrounds, visible disabilities, or spiritual beliefs different from those commonly found in their Nepali community may experience a high degree of curiosity, unwanted attention, or even discrimination from host country nationals. These Volunteers may not be treated with the same level of respect as other Volunteers and may be told that they are not “real Americans.” Volunteers have the opportunity to turn these encounters into learning experiences by sharing a wider lens of American values and deepening connections and intercultural understanding among community members.

For safety and security reasons, Peace Corps Nepal has restrictions on extreme sports and trekking routes Volunteers can use.

Serving in Nepal

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Nepal: 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 Information

Peace Corps Nepal can accommodate couples where both people serve in the same sector. Peace Corps Nepal cannot accept cross sector couples where one serves in English Education and the other serves in Food Security. Couples live together throughout their service. This includes living with a homestay family during the 11-week Pre-Service Training, as well as in their permanent community for the 2 years of service.

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.

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