Ecuador is a country synonymous with diversity. Although geographically small, Ecuador’s three regions are home to some of Earth’s greatest biodiversity. Ecuadoreans reflect this distinctive diversity within their local cultures; however, values like friendliness and hospitality are to be found throughout the country. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Ecuador you will have the opportunity to provide service to Ecuadorean communities while gaining experience living and working in this rich geographic and cultural tapestry.
The goal of the Peace Corps Ecuador TEFL program is to help students in Ecuadorian public schools develop communication skills in English that will help them access further academic and/or professional opportunities that can contribute to the socioeconomic development of Ecuador.
The specific objectives of the program are:
1. Increase the capacity of teachers to use general and English teaching skills more effectively
2. Increase the capacity of teachers to use gender-equitable practices in the classroom
3. Increase English proficiency of English teachers
4. Increase achievement of students in English
5. Increase community involvement in the promotion of student learning
Activities could include the following:
•Co-planning and co-teaching to improve linguistic and methodological capacities to implement participatory activities that promote authentic communication and critical thinking
•Training English teachers in new and current methodologies, subject content and resource development, thus creating sustainable improvements in teaching and establish learning tools
•Enhancing English language skills to make use of academic and technical resources published in English in the Universities
•Promoting critical thinking within language classes to improve the quality of life and employment opportunities.
•Working with local teachers to design English teaching materials that are gender-equitable and relevant to students' lives
•Creating opportunities for professional development workshops promoting communicative language
•Developing life skills classes or clubs for local youth
•Organizing and working with community groups to implement needs-based development projects
•Offering English classes to community members
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.
Qualified candidates will have a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline and a strong desire to teach English.
Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following:
• Bachelor's degree in Primary or Secondary Education with concentration in English, Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) or a foreign language; or
• Bachelor's degree in any discipline with state certification at the primary or secondary level in any discipline (English, TEFL, foreign language, art, or social science); or
• Bachelor's degree in English, TEFL or Linguistics; or
• Bachelor's degree in any discipline with 1 academic year teaching English, foreign language, or literacy tutoring experience with elementary, middle, or high school students, or adults.
• Experience living and working overseas
• At least 3-6 months' experience teaching
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).
While TEFL Volunteers in Ecuador are expected to use English in the classroom and with their co-teachers, Spanish will be necessary to interact with parents, school officials, and other teachers and for other day-to-day activities in the community. To successfully swear in as a Volunteer, Trainees must demonstrate an intermediate level of oral proficiency in Spanish at the end of the 10-week Pre-Service Training. Peace Corps Trainees receive a significant amount of training and support in the acquisition of Spanish. Trainees who arrive in country with low levels of Spanish find reaching an intermediate level of oral proficiency more challenging. Post highly encourages all applicants to begin working on their Spanish as early as possible prior to departing the US for Ecuador.
After Volunteers swear in, they are required to live with a host family in their community for a minimum of their first six months in the community. (This is in addition to the ten weeks of living with a host family during Pre-Service Training.) Host families are chosen with the help of host country co-workers in the community prior to the arrival of the Volunteer.
In Ecuador, living with your family is the norm for most adults, including college-educated professional adults. Generally, adult children live with their parents until they get married and start a family of their own. Living with a host family increases Volunteer safety, acceptance, credibility, integration, and language acquisition, and while not required, Volunteers are strongly encouraged to live with a host family throughout their entire two years of service.
There will likely be some communities in which Volunteers will be required to live with Ecuadorian host families for their entire two years of service. Among a number of benefits, Volunteers who live with a host family for their entire two years of service often participate more fully in the local culture, enjoy greater opportunities for acceptance and inclusion, and develop a stronger sense of solidarity with their families, their neighbors, and their communities.
Each job location and each counterpart organization will have its unique benefits and challenges. It's up to each individual Peace Corps Volunteer to adapt into that reality and make it a positive experience.
Based on the agreement with the Ministry of Education in Ecuador, Peace Corps asks TEFL Volunteers to plan vacation dates around their school's extended breaks and to try not to take vacation during the school year.
Volunteers in the TEFL Program have found that bringing a laptop or a tablet is a great convenience. Internet access continues to expand in Ecuador, and a personal computing device often makes it easier for Volunteers to access and share technical resources in support of their service. There will also be assignments during Pre-Service Training (PST) where having a personal computing device will come in handy in order to make completing those assignments easier. Please note, however, that bringing a device is not a requirement for this program, as Volunteers may also complete assignments and access resources through small computer labs at the Training Center and main Peace Corps office, local internet cafes, and other access points.
Serving in Ecuador
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Ecuador: 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.
Generally speaking, couples should expect living conditions to be the same for them as for single Volunteers. Every effort will be made so that couples can live together with a single host family during pre-service training, but there is always a chance that they may have to live apart during Pre-Service Training due to space or other limitations.
Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.
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