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TEFL Teacher

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 reflect this distinctive diversity within their regional cultures; however, values like friendliness and hospitality are to be found throughout the country. As a Peace Corps Volunteer (PCV ) in Ecuador you will have the opportunity to collaborate with Ecuadorean communities while gaining experience living and working in this rich geographic and cultural tapestry.

The goal of the Peace Corps Ecuador TEFL program is to collaborate with Ecuadorian teachers to support students in public schools or universities to develop communication skills in English that will help them access further academic and/or professional opportunities that can contribute to the socioeconomic development of Ecuador.

The specific objectives of the program are:

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.

5. Increase the ability of community members to support students’ access to learning.

Activities could include the following:

•Co-planning and co-teaching activities promoting communication and critical thinking.
•Training English teachers in new methodologies, subject content, resource development, and learning tools.
• Improving English language skills to increase access to academic and technical resources published in English in the Universities.
•Promoting language classes as a tool for improved quality of life and employment opportunities.
•Working with local teachers to design English teaching plans that are gender-equitable and relevant to students' lives.
•Creating opportunities for professional development via conversational language workshops.
•Developing extracurricular classes or clubs for youth focused on gender empowerment.
•Organizing and working with community groups to implement needs-based development projects.
•Offering English classes to community members.

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

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. PC Ecuador recommends candidates meet one of the following criteria but there are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position.

A. Completed 4 years of high school Spanish coursework
B. Completed minimum 2 semesters of Spanish college‐level coursework
C. Proficiency in another romance language (e.g. French, Portuguese, Italian)

It is important to maintain an engaged attitude about language learning throughout the experience. Volunteers in Ecuador live, learn, and work in Spanish. Spanish is necessary for day-to-day activities in the community, and over the course of the initial 10-week training period, Peace Corps Trainees receive a significant amount of training and support in the learning of Spanish. Volunteers will also need to dedicate substantial time to learning and practicing language in day-to-day life. Trainees must demonstrate an intermediate level of oral proficiency at the end of the training program in order to continue their service.

Peace Corps Ecuador highly encourages all applicants to begin working on their Spanish by taking classes or tutoring sessions prior to departing for Ecuador. Trainees who arrive in country with low levels of Spanish sometimes find reaching proficiency challenging within the 10-week training period.

Living conditions


Peace Corps Volunteers (PCV) will live with a host family during the 10 weeks of Pre-Service Training. Upon successful completion of training, PCVs will then live with a new host family in their community for the first four months of their two-year service. Peace Corps Ecuador carefully selects host families in the community prior to the arrival of the PCVs. Living with a host family increases PCV safety, acceptance, credibility, integration, and language acquisition. PCVs are encouraged to live with a host family throughout their entire service.

In Ecuador, living with family is the norm for most adults, including college-educated professionals. Generally, adult children live with their parents until they get married and start a family of their own.


PCVs live in urban, semi-urban, and rural communities across coastal, highland, and Amazon regions. Most houses have electricity, but outages are frequent. Many homes have indoor toilets, but latrines are common in rural areas.

Common foods include rice, potatoes, meats, seafood, and vegetables. Soup is very popular and fruit smoothies are common everywhere. It is possible to be vegetarian, but very difficult for vegans. It is impolite to refuse food, so flexibility is important.

PCVs travel on public buses between communities and cities. Travel by boat is common in the Amazon region and in some coastal areas, while biking is popular throughout the country.

The Ecuadorian climate is temperate year-round in the mountain valleys, a humid subtropical climate in coastal areas, and rainforest lowlands, with two seasons: rainy and dry. Traveling with layers is recommended.

Each job location and counterpart organization will have its unique benefits and challenges. It's up to each individual PCV to adapt into that reality and make it a positive experience.


Ecuadorians dress professionally for work in a style that translates to “business casual.” How one dresses is important for successful integration. It is important to keep hair neat and clean, and beards trimmed. Tattoos are traditionally perceived as unprofessional, but attitudes are slowly changing. In general, tattoos should be covered, and visible facial piercings removed in the workplace.


Phone service is reliable but calling the U.S. is expensive. Most towns and cities have internet cafes, and many shops/restaurants offer Wi-Fi.

PCVs have found that bringing a laptop or tablet, while not a requirement, makes it easier to complete assignments during training and to access and share technical resources during service. Volunteers may complete assignments and access resources with a PC-provided tablet or through a computer lab at the Training Center or the office.


Ecuadorians are typically very social – it’s important for Volunteers to socialize and engage with family and neighbors. They are also very curious and likely to ask personal questions to better understand American culture and the Volunteer’s background.

Ethnically, nationally, or racially diverse Americans may be asked where they are “actually from” or if they are “really” American. American concepts of politeness and appropriateness are not universal. LGBTQI+ Volunteers may find that local customs are very conservative and should be prepared for this challenge. Ecuadorians are generally tolerant but also conservative.

Volunteers should be mindful of cultural norms and use their judgment to determine the best way to approach diversity topics in their communities. We encourage Volunteers to also be open to Ecuadorian diversity, including approaching Ecuadorian cultural values and views with curiosity. The Peace Corps strives to support Volunteers throughout service by cultivating an inclusive, open, non-judgmental atmosphere that values diversity.

Learn more about the Volunteer experience in Ecuador: Get detailed information on culture, communications, housing, and health/crime statistics in order to make a well-informed decision about serving.

Medical considerations

Before you apply, please review medical clearance and legal clearance to learn about the process.

Couples information

The Ecuador TEFL program is happy to receive couples for this program.

Couples should expect living conditions to be the same for them as for single Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs). Those serving together as a couple can expect to live apart from each other only during the 10 weeks of training as this provides the best conditions for integration and language learning. Couples will then live together with the same host family during the first four months in their community of service.

After the initial four months in your assigned community, PCVs are eligible to live independently if they can identify a living situation in the community that meets Peace Corps’ housing criteria. Some communities may not have a live-alone option and all PCVs, including couples, must be open to the possibility of living with a host family during their entire service.

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 couple 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.

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