Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Teacher
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The primary goals of Volunteers in TEFL Certificate programs are (1) building counterpart teacher capacity by facilitating teaching Communities of Practice and co-teaching classes, (2) improving student achievement in English and (3) encouraging community engagement in school improvement and student learning.
A Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) Volunteer's primary duties will entail:
• Writing lesson plans, quizzes, and exams;
• Teaching 4-5 middle school English classes per year with class sizes ranging from 40-70 students using student-centered teaching methods to encourage critical thinking and prepare students for national examinations;
• Collaborating with local teachers by co-planning and co-teaching;
• Motivating students to learn English and introducing creative thinking techniques that integrate themes such as malaria prevention, food security, hygiene & sanitation, and gender equity;
• Helping students practice their English skills;
• Participating in weekly faculty meetings, grading and supervising exams;
• Participating in six online discussion sessions for TEFL certification;
• Working with parents and community members (PTAs) to increase their awareness of education and their connection to the school;
• Creating and facilitating an English club, as well as other extracurricular/secondary activities.
Secondary activities can greatly enhance your Volunteer experience initiating projects outside your primary assignment. Depending on the needs of your community, you may:
• Plant a garden promoting greater food security;
• Paint wall murals with health messages at the local health center;
• Help in the distribution of mosquito nets and give awareness sessions to students and the community;
• Design and implement summer camps.
The required Pre-Departure assignments start three months before invitees’ arrival and take place on LearningSpace, an online portal. Invitees take four training modules as part of the Certificate requirements and submit assignments for grading and feedback. These modules offer invitees opportunities to have a general ideas about teaching and provides them with helpful teaching skills and classroom strategies to become effective TEFL teachers.
Peace Corps promotes gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive training on gender challenges in Benin will have the opportunity to implement appropriate gender-related activities. This may include summer camps, clubs, sports teams, etc.
Required Language Skills
A. Completed 4 years of high school coursework within the past 8 years in a Romance language
B. Completed a minimum of 2 semesters of college level coursework within the past 6 years in a Romance language
C. Native/Fluent Romance language speaker
Candidates with rudimentary romance language skills should have either a willingness to take a French course or commitment to self‐study pre-departure.
Travel can be challenging and many of the roads and means of public transportation are in poor condition. Rural travel is mostly by local taxi or motorbikes used as taxis. Peace Corps provides you with training how to safely ride a motorbike as a passenger. Peace Corps also provides Volunteers with a mountain bike, which may be the principal means of transportation around your work zone. Since this may require considerable physical exertion on the part of the Volunteer, you should be in reasonably good shape or at least willing to improve your physical fitness to meet this work demand.
Benin has some restrictive laws that target certain sexual acts. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms and country-specific laws, and use their best judgment to determine how to approach topics related to sexual orientation and gender identity in their communities and host countries. Staff and currently serving Volunteers will address this topic during pre-service training, and identify support mechanisms for incoming trainees.
Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Benin: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and safety — including crime statistics [PDF] — in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.
Health Extension Volunteer (RCH)
Couples will train in separate locations and live with separate homestays. Couples will see each other once a week during CORE days (joint-sector training days) where all trainees will receive full group sessions.
Going through the Peace Corps experience as a couple allows for ample growth in trust, confidence, and communication. There will be times when you will both need each other’s support. Understand that you will need to put in an extra effort to be an ally to your partner. Although you will not be able to completely eradicate many of these challenges, they can be coped with and overcome with time, patience, and a most importantly a good sense of humor.
Medical Considerations in Benin
- Benin may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood; dermatology; gastroenterology; some types of gynecologic support; 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: gluten, peanuts, and shellfish.
- After arrival in Benin, 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 review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the clearance process and other health conditions that are difficult to accommodate in Peace Corps service.
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