Spanish Literacy Promoter

Before You Apply

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Project Description

The quality of the Dominican education system is consistently ranked as one of the poorest globally. Spanish Literacy Promoters provide critical support to address challenges within the Dominican education system. Volunteers work in Spanish to support childhood literacy in the native language of the Dominican Republic. By strengthening childhood literacy programs, Volunteers strive to decrease the number of children who are over-age for their grade, repeat grades, or who drop out of school. The work of Volunteers helps to lay a foundation for lifelong learning and improve communities’ development opportunities through access to quality education and effective reading and writing skills.

Your primary assignment will be to serve as a resource for the school director, counselor, teachers, parents, youth, and other groups in your community. Specifically, Volunteers and project partners help teachers integrate innovative teaching practices in the classroom, work with students to improve their reading skills and overall success in education, and involve parents and the community in literacy and education promotion. Work will involve classroom teaching, sharing resources, developing teaching materials, and becoming involved in community and school based projects.

Volunteers will work in regions with the highest need for literacy promotion and those that have expressed interest in collaborating on this initiative. You will support the Ministry of Education in achieving its goal of having more students reading and writing well when they leave the third grade. In addition, Volunteers often collaborate with local organizations working in education to help to institutionalize the Volunteer’s efforts to promote Spanish literacy.

Required Skills

Qualified candidates will have a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline and a strong desire to teach literacy.

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will meet or exceed the following:
• Previous experience working with elementary school students
• Previous experience in literacy tutoring or teaching (previous Spanish literacy teaching a plus)
• Previous teaching experience and working with teachers/school personnel
• Experience working with community based organizations

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).

Additional Language Information

Competitive candidates will have conversational Spanish skills at the time they apply and will commit to continuing their language learning while awaiting departure. Peace Corps provides intensive language training during the 10 weeks of Pre-Service Training. At the end of training, Peace Corps Dominican Republic requires an intermediate level of oral proficiency in order to be sworn in as a Volunteer. Trainees that arrive with conversational Spanish skills are likely to reach this level.

Living Conditions

Volunteers will live with two families during the 10 week pre-service training (one family in Santo Domingo and the other in a smaller community during community-based training). Volunteers will live with a third host family for the first 4-6 months of service in their assigned community to facilitate language acquisition and community integration. Although most Volunteers are able to move out on their own after an obligatory 4-6 month homestay (in addition to the training homestays), there is no guarantee that independent housing will be available.

Volunteers are assigned to both rural communities and small towns. Living conditions and transportation problems can be physically demanding. You will have to use the available transportation existing in your community (in most cases this includes regular or semi-regular service by pick-up trucks, vans, and/or collective taxis). In some cases you may have to walk long distances to work engagements. Houses usually have corrugated steel roofs, walls of wood or cement block, and cement floors. They may or may not have amenities such as running water, electricity, or reliable phone service. Most communities have phone service within the community, although there are situations where Volunteers have to travel up to an hour to access service. Although some communities have electricity, a great many do not, and in all cases, power outages are common. Many of these communities are located along the Dominican-Haitian border, with more challenging living conditions.

Personal appearance is important for Volunteers representing the Peace Corps and Dominican partner agencies, particularly the Dominican Ministry of Education. Dominicans consider personal appearance to be an important indicator about a person, and a Volunteer’s appearance will influence his/her relationship with the community. Volunteers are expected to dress to Dominican standards for teachers.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Dominican Republic: 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 Dominican Republic

  • Dominican Rep. may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: requiring a psychiatrist for psychotropic medications support; 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: none identified.
  • After arrival in Dominican Republic, 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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