English Teacher and Teacher Trainer

Before You Apply

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Project Description

As an English teacher and teacher trainer Volunteer, your primary goals will be to
1) improve student learning in English,
2) enhance students’ life and academic skills,
3) increase Indonesian teachers’ English fluency, and
4) improve teachers’ instructional capacity.
Many of your projects will focus on improving students’ English acquisition, increasing student motivation and confidence, improving teachers’ English communication and teaching skills, or creating opportunities for life skills and leadership skills acquisition.

This assignment requires Volunteers to teach English to students, at the 7th to 12th grade level. Some of the students you will teach might only have a basic or intermediate understanding of English. Other students might have mixed abilities to use English in conversations, writings, or while reading. Volunteers work with one or more co-teachers in an Indonesian middle school, high school, or vocational school. All classes are co-taught with an Indonesian counterpart. It is expected that you will devote about 20-24 hours per week with your co-teacher in the classroom. You will also have many opportunities to plan extracurricular and non-formal community activities such as English clubs, after school sports, or art. Content is developed in coordination with the school’s adoption of a national curriculum in English. The types of materials available to you might be limited. Some Volunteers may be assigned to teach in schools with only basic resources, while others may be in schools with access to technology such as computer labs or audio-visual equipment for language instruction.

The Indonesian school week is Monday through Saturday; Volunteers are expected to function as members of the faculty to their assigned school and will be required to attend school at least five days each week.

Volunteers will have opportunities to participate in and implement teacher trainings through local teachers’ organizations.

Opportunities exist for community service or youth development projects within the school and community. You will receive training on engagement strategies with schools and local communities to support a positive student environment in schools that create safe, engaging, and supportive learning environments for Indonesian students. Common examples of Volunteers’ activities in this realm include club and camp activities related to leadership and life skills development, girls’ and boys’ empowerment, environmental awareness, and health activities.

Cultural sensitivity, including religious tolerance and the desire to learn Bahasa Indonesia and a secondary local language, is essential. Peace Corps Goals Two and Three – increasing Indonesians’ understanding of Americans, as well as Americans’ understanding of Indonesians – are of particular importance to our Indonesian partners; thus, building the people-to-people connection is integral to Peace Corps service in Indonesia and as important as the transfer of skills.

Volunteers selected for Peace Corps Indonesia’s education project will have the option to enroll in the Peace Corps TEFL Certificate program. The program consists of three months of pre-departure online training before you arrive, followed by a continuum of technical training and practical application throughout your service. Teaching observations, Online Learning Community events, written assignments, and in-person training events will be required throughout the program to support professional growth, provide feedback, and help Volunteers enrich their teaching repertoire.

Upon successful completion of 27 months of service and meeting the technical requirements, enrolled Volunteers will be awarded a TEFL Certificate, a valuable credential for employment and graduate education programs in the US and internationally. The TEFL Certificate is designed primarily for Volunteers with little teaching coursework or experience; however, it is also a valuable credential for those with a degree in TESOL or a related field who may not yet have extensive teaching experience. Volunteers with previous teaching experience will use their skills and knowledge to facilitate training and support other Volunteers. All Volunteers participating in the TEFL Certificate program will complete these activities as part of their primary assignments as described here.

Due to legal restrictions imposed by the Indonesian government, applicants to Indonesia’s Peace Corps program must conclude their service prior to the age of 60. Due to additional legal restrictions imposed by the Indonesian government, any couples applying together must be in opposite-sex, legally married relationships.

Required Skills

• Competitive candidates will have a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline with a strong desire to teach English and at least 30 hours of teaching or tutoring experience in English, foreign language, or literacy with primary, middle, high school, or university level students or adults.
• All applicants need to meet the physical demands of riding a bike (1-5 miles per day), as it is a Volunteer’s primary mode of transportation.
• All applicants must be able to use a squat toilet.

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following criteria:
• Master 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 education state certification in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESL, TESL, or foreign language
• Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESL 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 level in English, TEFL, TESOL, ESL and TESL, or foreign language
• Additional teaching or tutoring experience, beyond the required 30 hours stated above, in English, foreign language, or literacy with primary, middle, high school, or university level students or adults.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

Additional Language Information

Volunteers work extensively in Bahasa Indonesia. Trainees will receive seven weeks of intense instruction in Bahasa Indonesia and must obtain specific benchmarks of oral proficiency by the end of pre-service training. Peace Corps Indonesia provides multiple avenues and a high level of support for ongoing language learning after pre-service training, including in-person language tutoring, online tutoring where available, intensive language workshops, and stipends for language learning materials. Given low levels of English proficiency in the sites where Volunteers will be serving, including among English-teaching counterparts, students, and host family members, Volunteers will be expected to increase their fluency in Bahasa Indonesia over the course of their service. Learning Bahasa Indonesia and a secondary language will greatly help you integrate into your community. It will also help demonstrate your commitment to working side-by-side with your Indonesian colleagues.

In most cases, as a trainee, you will receive at least two weeks of instruction in a secondary local language, such as Bahasa Jawa, Bahasa Sunda, Bahasa Madura, or Bahasa Melayu Kupang if you are able to demonstrate an ability to use Bahasa Indonesia. At many sites where Volunteers will serve, these secondary languages are widely spoken socially and in homes, and a basic level of proficiency in greetings, polite phrases, and other common vocabulary will be useful for integration purposes. The same support for ongoing language learning is available for secondary languages as for Bahasa Indonesia.

Living Conditions

Integration is a key element to Peace Corps and a successful Peace Corps service. All Volunteers will live with host families for the entire duration of their service. Host families provide a safe, welcoming learning and living environment for Volunteers. As a communal culture, often more than one generation lives in the house, and Volunteers may have much less privacy than they may be accustomed to. While Volunteers will have their own sleeping rooms, they will share the bathroom and kitchen with the rest of the household. Indonesian communities are densely populated, and noise levels are high, particularly near mosques. Volunteers will be expected to live according to the cultural norms of their training site and permanent sites. This likely includes refraining from consuming alcohol, not hosting visitors of the opposite sex, and observing appropriate dress norms.

Volunteers usually bicycle several miles or walk for about an hour every day to get to and from work, to the market, or to meet with their Indonesian colleagues and friends after work or on the weekends. Your host community placement might be in a provincial town; however, most Volunteers are placed in rural locations. Rural communities might have limited transportation options, and if you are coming to the Peace Corps office, it might take a day or two.

Located along the equator, Indonesia is a lush tropical country with some of the most diverse species anywhere on the planet. However, this also means that the temperature is hot and can be very humid throughout the year. The rainy season, generally occurring from October through April, sees heavy participation on a daily basis.

A key component of Indonesia’s national philosophy is valuing its rich diversity of people and cultures; however, most of Indonesia is largely unaware of American diversity, and people are often curious about the nationalities of racial and ethnic minority Volunteers. Minority Volunteers should prepare to answer a large number of questions on this topic. At the same time, cultural norms expect newcomers to approach people actively and get involved in communal activities instead of waiting to be approached.

All Volunteers can expect Indonesian community members to be curious about Volunteers’ religious beliefs and practices. Volunteers with belief systems that fall outside the recognized religions in Indonesia (Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic, Protestant, and Confucianism) will need to learn strategies for responding to questions about this topic.

While Indonesia is generally tolerant and same-sex relationships are not legally prohibited, values concerning sexual orientation and gender identity may be different from those in the U.S. 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. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address this topic throughout the training curriculum and identify support mechanisms for incoming trainees.

Volunteers will be expected to be flexible and have a strong sense of responsibility in representing Peace Corps to its Indonesian partners. Meetings might not start on time, the bus might not stick to its schedule, and your event might be rained-out.

Indonesia is home to more than 200 million people. As a Peace Corps Volunteer in Indonesia, you will have the unique experience of living amongst your fellow Indonesians, learning more about their lives while sharing yours.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Indonesia: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical Considerations in Indonesia

  • Indonesia may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma; insulin-dependent diabetes; gastroenterology; mammography; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; seizure disorder; urology; ongoing counseling.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse. 
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: peanuts and shellfish.
  • After arrival in Indonesia, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Before you apply, please also review Important Medical Information for Applicants [PDF] to learn about other health conditions typically not supported in Peace Corps service.

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