The Peace Corps Volunteer program is often called life-defining by the more than 235,000 Americans who have served. Get the chance to fully integrate into a host country community, where you will live and work on projects ranging from education to business development. Peace Corps Response sends experienced professionals to undertake short-term, high-impact service assignments in communities around the world. Bring valuable skills and experiences to projects in places where they are needed most.
English Teacher and Teacher Trainers play a critical role in supporting the Ministry of Education’s strategic priority of improving English education in Timor-Leste. Volunteers will work hand in hand with their teachers, directors, students, parents and the larger community, modeling Peace Corps’ approach to development with Timorese people.
Volunteers will co-teach English at the middle and high school levels and / or in vocational schools in small towns and villages in Timor-Leste. Volunteers will partner with local English language teachers in a co-teaching environment and focus on the capacity building of co-teachers in the areas of English language proficiency, teaching student-centered methodologies, lesson planning, classroom management and assessment.
Volunteers will also be expected to conduct and participate in teacher training activities for local teachers, develop youth development activities like clubs and camps, and respond to community interests in formal and informal English lessons for community members. While Volunteers should anticipate working full-time in a school setting, their involvement in a wide range of community-led activities is also likely.
Timor-Leste is a young and vibrant democracy. Volunteers will have a rare opportunity to be working among the nation’s heroes and freedom fighters that are still active in leading the nation. Most communities have experience with development projects sponsored by large international donor organizations, yet they are seeking a different kind of partnership with the Peace Corps.
Community members expect Peace Corps Volunteers to speak the local language, respect and value the Timorese culture, and find ways to transfer skills. They appreciate when Volunteers work to create change through education, role modeling, demonstration, inspiration, and motivation.
Schools in Timor-Leste operate under distinctly different cultural norms than those with which many Americans are accustomed. Cultural differences include power distance (the degree to which a culture accepts unequal distribution of power), direct and indirect communication styles, and pace of events. For example, work-related events appear to lack urgency and absenteeism may be common. These cultural differences as well as others will require that you learn to observe the behavior of host country nationals at work and change your behavior to conform.
There has been a steady investment in the reconstruction of school facilities since independence and a new English language curricula has been rolled out. English is a required subject in schools, beginning in the 7th grade. Student access, attendance, teacher training, and material availability are common problems leading to poor outcomes. In addition, teachers’ English language proficiency is a challenge as many have not had many opportunities to use English or have had very little training to teach English. Corporal punishment is still used in schools. Volunteers will be expected to model quality classroom teaching and establish strong relationships with local colleagues in order to help schools address these challenges. The language of instruction in Timor-Leste schools is Portuguese, yet students and teachers are likely more comfortable communicating in Tetun and local languages.
Health coverage, Housing, Living allowance, Non-competitive eligibility (federal jobs), Stipend, Training
Subject to criminal background check