Secondary Education English Teacher Trainer

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Project Description

The English Education project started in 1991 and is the largest Peace Corps project in Mongolia, reflecting the priority of English Education by the Government of Mongolia. In 2005, the Mongolian government named English the official second language of Mongolia, and English is now being taught at all secondary schools and at higher educational institutions. The skill levels of English teachers are varied, particularly in the countryside, where there is a significant shortage of both skilled teachers and relevant resources.

Peace Corps Mongolia seeks Volunteers to work alongside English teachers and accomplish the following goals: 1) Teachers will improve their English language proficiency and capacity to deliver student-centered English language education, 2) Students at secondary schools and higher education institutions will improve their English proficiency, and 3) Teachers and community members will become leaders and active members of their educational institutions and communities.

Volunteers will be assigned to a secondary school or higher education institution (university or college) where they will lesson plan and co-teach with one or more Mongolian English teachers. Outside of the classroom, Volunteers, in cooperation with Mongolian teachers, will work with youth facilitating extracurricular activities such as clubs and mentoring programs in order to promote youth leadership and life skills.

Required 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

Desired Skills

Peace Corps Mongolia prefers Volunteers with the following experience:

• Curriculum development
• Methodology teaching to student teachers or English teachers
• Planning and facilitating workshops and/or training seminars for teachers
• Conducting trainings
• Development of after school extracurricular programs
• Development of teaching/learning resources

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.

Additional Language Information

A desire to learn Mongolian is essential. Upon receiving their invitation, Invitees will receive additional information about the Mongolian language and are expected to start their Mongolian language learning so that they arrive in country knowing some basic Mongolian phrases and a working knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet.

Living Conditions

Living Conditions: Volunteers will be placed in provincial towns, villages, or cities. All Volunteers need a high level of maturity, initiative, flexibility and persistence. Rural and isolated placements are likely – up to four hours by public transit to the nearest other Volunteer.

Housing: Volunteers will live in one of four types of housing: a teacher’s dorm, an apartment, a “ger” (yurt), or a wooden house. Often, Volunteers must use an outhouse. Volunteers living in gers and wooden houses may have to haul their water from a well, and during the winters they need to make fires and prepare fuel (chopping fire wood and breaking coal). All Volunteers will receive training on how to adapt to common living conditions.

Climate: Winters are long and extremely cold reaching 40 degrees below zero Celsius, which is also -40° Fahrenheit, plus a wind chill factor bringing it to -55° Celsius. While this may sound unbearable, note that millions of people, including Volunteers, live and thrive in the winter.
Spring is sunny and extremely windy, and dust storms are common. Summer is sunny and breezy, with an average temperature in the low 20s C (70° F), though it can get as hot as 38° C (100° F). The sun shines almost every day in Mongolia, even in the winter.

Diet: The diet is primarily meat-based and Volunteers should be prepared to eat meat.

Communications and Travel: During pre-service training, Trainees may have limited access to Internet. Approximately 85 percent of Volunteers have Internet connections in their communities. Most provincial centers now have access to the Internet. All Peace Corps Volunteers will have cell phones.

Travel can be arduous, and Volunteers should be able to carry up to several bags, walk within the community on uneven ground, and travel for long distances on bumpy roads in crowded vehicles. Often, travel among cities by bus, vans, private cars, and jeeps takes place o unpaved roads. Distances in Mongolia are great, and Volunteers should be prepared for long-distance travel on rough terrain.

Professional Appearance: Mongolians dress professionally on the job. Men wear either cotton or wool slacks with a button-down shirt (often with a tie), as well as a nice sweater, and women wear dresses or skirts/pants and blouses/sweaters. Volunteers should bring professional clothing to wear during work hours including all training events.

Body piercings and tattoos are not common in professional settings. Peace Corps Mongolia requires Volunteers to remove facial piercings (with the exception of earrings for women) and cover all tattoos throughout pre-service training and during the first four months of service. This allows Volunteers to establish a professional rapport with colleagues when they first arrive in the country and at their sites.

Diversity: Volunteers who are of an American racial, ethnic, or national minority may find they experience a high degree of curiosity or unwanted attention from host country nationals. Please be aware that American concepts of politeness and appropriate behavior are not universal. Ethnically, nationally, or racially diverse Americans may be asked where they are “actually from” or if they are “really” American. Many Volunteers have been able to turn these encounters into learning experiences, share American values, and deepen local community members’ understanding of Americans.

Many LGBT Volunteers have served safely and successfully in Mongolia. However, LGBT Volunteers may need to be thoughtful about living openly in their communities and use their best judgment to determine the best way to approach this with their counterparts and community members. Please refer to the Local Laws and Special Circumstances of the U.S. Department of State's travel page for more information.

Pre-Service Training: Host family stays are required for all Volunteers during pre-service training. Couples will be separated during the pre-service training, which is typically three months.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Mongolia: 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 Mongolia

  • Mongolia may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild and childhood; dermatology; insulin-dependent diabetes; mammography; requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; seizure disorder; 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: lactose and gluten.
  • After arrival in Mongolia, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot and 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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