TEFL Teacher

Before You Apply

You can only have one active Peace Corps Volunteer application, so choose a position that best fits your skills and interest. You have the opportunity to tell us if you’d like to be considered for other openings and more about the ones that interest you most! See application process

Project Description

The three general goals of the Peace Corps Ecuador TEFL Program are:

1. Capacity building of high school English teachers
2. Development of English materials
3. Community outreach

Volunteer activities may 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 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

Volunteers will participate in the TEFL training program which provides you with a Peace Corps TEFL Certificate upon your successful completion of service. This program provides 120 hours of standardized training and practice teaching along with two years of supervised teaching experience framed through quarterly online learning events facilitated by Peace Corps Ecuador staff. This training is designed to prepare to respond to the goals of TEFL Volunteers: (1) building counterpart teacher capacity through teaching Communities of Practice, (2) improving student achievement in English, and (3) encouraging community engagement in school improvement and student learning.

Required Skills

Competitive candidates will have a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline and a strong desire to teach English

Desired Skills

• 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 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).

To successfully swear in as a Volunteer, Trainees must demonstrate an intermediate level of written and oral proficiency in Spanish at the end of pre-service training. 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.

Living Conditions

After Volunteers swear in, they are required to live with a host family in their community for their first six months at site. (This is in addition to the 11 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.

Please keep in mind that there may be sites in which Volunteers will be required to live with Ecuadorian host families for their entire two years service, but there are many benefits to two-year home stays. Volunteers who live with a host family for their 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 and neighbors.

In some cases, Volunteers assigned to schools in the bigger cities do not live in the neighborhood or community where they work but commute to and from their work each day. These Volunteers may feel challenged by not having a strong sense of community, but they often report that they enjoy the sense of independence that comes from living in a larger city and not being in the "fish bowl" as they might be living in a smaller community.

Each job location will have its pros and cons. 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 Certificate Program have found that bringing a laptop or a tablet is a great convenience, not only in terms have increased options for internet access but also to be able to complete required assignments off-line and then upload those assignments later. Please note that bringing a device is not a requirement for this program, as Volunteers may also complete the assignments through local internet cafes or other access points.

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

Couples Information

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 small chance that they may have to live apart during pre-service training due to space or other limitations.

Medical Considerations in Ecuador

  • Ecuador may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood; insulin-dependent diabetes; 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: gluten, peanuts and shellfish.
  • After arrival in Ecuador, 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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