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2 years, 3 months
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Up to 12 months
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Virtual Service Pilot
3-6 months
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Virtual Service Pilot

Co-Facilitate English Conversation Clubs for Teachers in Bogotá

Activity/project background

Partner: Bogotá Secretariat of Education (SED) (Government)

The Secretariat of Education (SED) in Bogota, Colombia has developed a District Plan for Bilingualism, emphasizing the need for generating training opportunities aimed at English teachers and principals. These professionals will guide their schools through pedagogical and methodological processes, linguistic development, and the utilization of resources to enhance teaching practices and bolster language proficiency among teachers and students. In line with this, the bilingualism team has crafted a series of resources, including e-guides that are tailored for teachers, grounded in the methodological and linguistic concepts outlined in the recommended English curriculum, and developed to cater to children, adolescents, and young adults from preschool to secondary education.

To further support this initiative, the bilingualism team has requested two Virtual Service Pilot Participants (VSPPs) with pedagogy experience to enhance their teachers’ opportunities to engage in English through the creation and co-facilitation of English conversation clubs for these teachers. The VSPPs will offer a native speaking accent, vocabulary, and speech patterns, as well as an element of intercultural exchange.

While Peace Corps Colombia does not currently deploy two-year Volunteers to Bogota, the scale of this project makes it well-suited for virtual engagement. Bogotá SED has previously collaborated with a Virtual Service Pilot Participant, and they are familiar with Peace Corps Volunteer work through previous Ministry of Education projects and other recent activities. They also understand that the role of a VSPP is different than that of a 2-year volunteer.

Engagement and tasks

The VSPP will engage in the following tasks, in collaboration with their Host Country Partners:

• Co-assess the English language levels of participating teachers
• Co-plan and design English conversation club sessions and teaching materials
• Co-deliver conversation club sessions for Bogota English Teachers (urban and rural zones) and the professionals who work in the Dirección de Ciencias, Tecnologías y Medios Educativos (MCTME) using the provided or recommended formats and materials with approximately 10 participants per club
• Co-facilitate weekly 1-hour club meetings for each of the basic, intermediate, and advanced levels (schedule will be agreed upon between Secretariat and VSPPs)

VSPPs are expected to engage on the tasks listed above for an estimated 5-15 hours per week. This engagement is estimated to be up to 15 hours per week.

Online collaboration will generally occur between 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Colombia time. Specific times will be determined during orientation.

The Host Country Counterpart will have access to Microsoft teams for regular communication and collaboration.

Per the Child Protection Code of Conduct, when engaging online with minors (0-18), two adults must be present.

Optional additional activities

The Peace Corps mission is to promote world peace and friendship by fulfilling three goals:

  1. To help the people of interested countries in meeting their need for trained men and women.
  2. To help promote a better understanding of Americans on the part of the peoples served.
  3. To help promote a better understanding of other peoples on the part of Americans.

Goal 1 will be achieved through the VSPP's engagement and completion of the above tasks. The counterpart and VSPP may also choose to identify an activity that aligns with Goal 2. Additionally, the VSPP may identify a Goal 3 activity to implement during their engagement. See recommendations and tools for Goal 3 activities.

Essential qualifications

Education: Bachelor’s degree in any field

Language: Intermediate Spanish

Experience: 1 year of experience in teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL)/ teaching English as a second language (TESL) at the secondary school level

Intercultural skills and motivation: Flexible, strong cross-cultural agility, high tolerance for ambiguity, able to work independently, resourceful, creative, and genuinely motivated and capable to serve virtually

Desired qualifications

Education: Master's degree in education, secondary education, or related field and relevant certification: TEFL, TESOL, Cambridge, or similar

• Familiarity with virtual engagement and communication
• Experience living in Colombia or Latin America
• Experience training trainers, or experience teaching or training adults
• Co-planning and co-teaching experience
• Experience with group management techniques

Terms and conditions of engagement

VSPPs will be engaging with the host country partner, in coordination with Peace Corps post staff, remotely from the US. They should have access to a computer, internet, and telephone in order to enable direct engagement with the Peace Corps overseas office and the Host Country Counterpart assigned by the host country partner.

Orientation with the host country partner will be provided, within the designated virtual service hours, during the first week of virtual service via an online presentation and discussion. The host country partner will provide an overview of its organization, the local context, and how they envision collaborating with the VSPP.

The VSPP will have regular check-ins with their counterpart and bi-weekly check-ins with Peace Corps staff. Spending unstructured time with counterparts can be critical to relationship-building and is encouraged through activities such as coffee chats and informal calls within the weekly 5-15 hours.

Engagement safety and security

The VSPP will receive an orientation on Peace Corps’ Child Protection Policy and how it relates to online engagement along with IT security best practices. The VSPP will be expected to follow safety and security guidelines for online engagement to ensure their safety and that of the Host Country Partner and their counterpart, and any beneficiaries of the engagement.

Supervision requirements

The VSPP will report to a designated Peace Corps staff member. The VSPP will be expected to abide by the Virtual Service Pilot Participant and Donation Agreement and Participant Principles of Engagement. The VSPP will also be expected to check in with the designated host country counterpart as assigned by the host county partner.

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