TEFL Teacher

The Peace Corps continues to monitor and assess the COVID-19 pandemic domestically and internationally. The locations and timing of returning Volunteers to service will be determined on a country-by-country basis. The positions and projected departure dates listed below are subject to change.

Project Description

Ecuador is a country synonymous with diversity. Although geographically small, Ecuador’s four regions are home to some of Earth’s greatest biodiversity. Ecuadoreans match this distinctive diversity in their local cultures and values like friendliness and hospitality are found throughout the country. Peace Corps Volunteers in Ecuador collaborate with Ecuadoreans to understand and support local priorities. Along with specific programmatic work, throughout their service, Volunteers also engage in intercultural exchange with their host communities, learning and sharing invaluable skills and new insights while working alongside Ecuadoreans in this rich geographic and cultural tapestry.

Peace Corps Ecuador TEFL program Volunteers are invited to work alongside teacher counterparts and support students in Ecuadorian public schools as they work to develop communication skills in English that will help them access further academic and/or professional opportunities so that they can, in turn, reach their personal goals and contribute to the socioeconomic development of Ecuador.

The specific objectives of the program are to work hand-in-hand to:

1. Increase the capacity of teachers to use general and English teaching skills;
2. Increase the capacity of teachers to use gender-equitable practices in the classroom;
3. Increase English proficiency of English teachers;
4. Increase achievement of students in English; and
5. Increase the ability of community members to support students’ access to learning.

Volunteer and counterpart activities could 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 among students;
•Co-facilitating trainings for English teachers designed to share new and current teaching methodologies, and develop subject content and resources, resulting in sustainable improvements in teaching and establishing learning tools;
•Working together to enhance English language skills in order to make use of academic and technical resources published in English;
•Promoting critical thinking within language classes to improve quality of life and employment opportunities;
•Working with other teachers to design English teaching materials that are gender-equitable and relevant to students' lives;
•Co-creating opportunities for professional development workshops promoting communicative language;
•Co-developing extracurricular classes or clubs for youth focused in gender empowerment;
•Collaborating with community groups to implement needs-based development projects; and
•Offering English classes to community members.

In addition, Volunteers participate in the Peace Corps' monitoring, reporting, and evaluation activities. All Volunteers receive training related to these efforts and submit regular reports. Combined, these monitoring, reporting, and evaluation efforts help Peace Corps Ecuador monitor the collaborative work of Volunteers and their host communities, report accomplishments, and evaluate and improve results. The opportunity to learn and practice professional monitoring and evaluation skills are among the many valued and tangible benefits of Peace Corps service.

COVID-19 Volunteer Activities

In the past year, the world has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Volunteer, you will be trained in how to best protect yourself from COVID-19 exposure and understand the impact of and steps to reduce stigma related to COVID-19. You may also have the opportunity to engage with your community on implementing or enhancing COVID-19 mitigation activities, such as COVID-19 prevention and risk reduction strategies including social distancing, hand washing, mask wearing, addressing myths and misconceptions related to these practices, and vaccine hesitancy. Activities will be tailored to address the COVID-19 circumstances in the communities where you will serve.

Required Skills

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

Desired Skills

Competitive candidates will have one or more of the following:
• 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 Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) in English, Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), Master of Arts in Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Master of Arts in English as a Second Language (ESL), Master of Arts in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), Master of Arts in Teaching a 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
• 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).

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 to complete day-to-day activities in the community. To successfully swear-in as a Volunteer, Trainees must demonstrate an intermediate level of oral proficiency in Spanish at the end of the 10-week Pre-Service Training. Peace Corps Trainees receive a significant amount of language training in support of their acquisition of Spanish speaking skills. Trainees who arrive for training with low levels of Spanish find reaching an intermediate level of oral proficiency more challenging than those who arrive in-country with higher Spanish proficiency levels. Therefore, Peace Corps Ecuador encourages all applicants and invitees to begin working on their Spanish before departing the United States for Ecuador.

Living Conditions

During the 10-week Pre-Service Training period, Trainees live with a host family. After swearing-in, Volunteers are also required to live with a host family in their host community for at least their first four months of service. Host families are chosen with the help of host country co-workers prior to the arrival of the Volunteer to the community.

In Ecuador, living with family is the norm for most adults, including college-educated, professionals. Generally, adult children live with their parents until they marry and start a family of their own. Living with a host family increases a Volunteer's safety, acceptance, credibility, integration, and language acquisition while serving in Ecuador.

While not required of all Volunteers, Volunteers are strongly encouraged to live with a host family throughout their entire two years of service. Among a number of benefits, Volunteers who live with a host family for their entire 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, their neighbors, and their communities.

Each Volunteer's job location and counterpart organization will have unique benefits and challenges. It is up to each individual Peace Corps Volunteer to adapt to these circumstances and make their service a positive experience for them and for their host community.

While Ecuadoreans are generally tolerant, and the Peace Corps/Ecuador office is an open, non-judgmental place for all Volunteers, values and mores concerning diversity (race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, etc.) may be different from those in the United States. Volunteers will need to be mindful of cultural norms and use their judgment to determine the best way to approach diversity issues in their communities and host countries.

Volunteers who are of an American racial, ethnic, or national minority or whose religious or spiritual beliefs differ from the majority of their country of service may find they experience curiosity or unwanted attention from host country nationals. 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. Peace Corps Ecuador has support groups in place for diverse Volunteers and seeks to support Volunteers of all backgrounds.

Based on the agreement with the Ministry of Education in Ecuador, Peace Corps asks TEFL Volunteers to plan vacations during their school's extended breaks and to not to take vacation during the school year, whenever possible.

Finally, Volunteers have found it helpful to bring a laptop or tablet to Ecuador. Internet access continues to expand in Ecuador, and having a personal computing device often makes it easier for Volunteers to access and share technical resources in support of their service. There will also be assignments during Pre-Service Training where having a personal computing device will be helpful for Trainees. However, bringing a device is not a requirement for this program. Volunteers may also complete assignments and access resources through small computer labs at the Peace Corps Ecuador Training Center, the Peace Corps Ecuador office, local internet cafes, and other access points.

Serving in Ecuador

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Ecuador: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, health, and safety -- including health and crime statistics -- 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 for couples to live together with a single host family during Pre-Service Training, but there is always a chance that they may have to live apart during Pre-Service Training due to space or other limitations.

The Peace Corps works to foster safe and productive assignments for same-sex couples, and same-sex couples are not placed in countries where homosexual acts are criminalized. Because of this, same-sex couples placements are more limited than heterosexual couple placements. During the application process, recruiters and placement officers work closely with same-sex couple applicants to understand current placement opportunities. For more information please visit: https://www.peacecorps.gov/faqs/lgbtq/.”

Medical Considerations

Before you apply, please review Medical Information for Applicants to learn about the medical clearance process.

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