email: volunteer@otracosa.org

HELP English

Providing equal opportunities through access to English classes.

In Peru the English language is part of the government designed school curriculum. It is technically a requirement for schools to have English lessons. However, the schools in our area, like many others, are neglected and are not provided the resources or teachers to have English in their schools. At private schools children are made familiar with English at a young age however these schools are not within the means of the communities we work with. So this is where HELP English comes in. The goal of this programme is to provide equal educational opportunities to students in local states schools as the children who attend private school receive in the form of English classes. On top of the attempt to close this gap, it is widely recognised that speaking English is very important in today’s world, providing access to more job and educational opportunities.

School Summaries

We work with three local schools in and around Huanchaco. The first and by far the largest of these three is located in central Huanchaco with over 400 students, grades kindergarten-6th. There are two or three classes for each grade. Each class has approximately 30 students in a standard-sized classroom. The school is comparatively well-resourced and maintained and you can expect the children to have their own stationary and books, and the concrete classrooms to have blackboards and writing materials.

The second school we work with is based just on the ourskirts of Huanchaco. It was created in 1993, starting out with one single teacher for all grades. Since then with the help of Caritas, INFES, Solidarity Circle and the local municipality, the school has grown into five classrooms to support 8 grades, pre-kindergarten through 6th grade. In this school we teach 1st-6th grade which makes up only three classes as each classroom is host to two grade levels. Each class has between 10 to 18 students. This school generally only has access to running water 2 or 3 hours per day. These students do not always have access to their own resources and the resources of the school are scarce.

The final school in this area that we work with is based in a shanty town just before Huanchaco. Very recently, in 2009 a head teacher was appointed and she taught all pupils from 1st-6th grade in one room. Now there are over 90 students attending this school but there are only three fully constructed classrooms. The 4th-6th graders attend class in two make-shift rooms built from plywood nailed together with tin roofs. Just last year, 2015, these two rooms received a concrete floor and there is a continual push with the local municipality to finish the construction of these classrooms. The only access to water in this school is through a small spigot in the ground. As well as with the previous school these students do not always have access to their own resources and the resources of the school are scarce.

On top of the local schools in our area we also partner with the mountain community of Yanasara. Please read the position description below for more information about working in this school and community.

Volunteer or Internship Opportunities

HELP English Coordinator

All of our HELP (Huanchaco Education and Learning Program) Coordinator positions are higher-level volunteer positions for volunteers with strong leadership skills, who are looking to coordinate and manage one of our own Otra Cosa Network (OCN) HELP projects. In this position, you will receive supervision from the assistant manager and you will be responsible for overseeing and supervising all of our HELP English volunteers, and for coordinating with all of our partner schools and projects where our volunteers are teaching English. In this position, you will be expected to plan weekly meetings with all of our HELP English volunteers, to visit all of our partner schools and projects regularly, and to keep all of our HELP English resources including materials, books, curriculums and activities updated and organized. In addition, we do expect that you will continue to create new materials and resources for the project, based on what is needed to support our volunteers and to help this program continue to improve and be as successful as possible.

Volunteer roles/working hours

Facilitate weekly meetings with the HELP English volunteers and your supervisor
Conduct school and projects visits on a regular basis and bring volunteers to their projects on their first day
Improve and add to the HELP English teaching curriculum
Maintain and update the online database of lesson plans and help the teachers create interactive and engaging lesson plans
Be creative in coming up with rewards and disciplinary policies especially when volunteers are have difficulties controlling their classroom
Read the previous coodrinator’s manual and continue adding/editing and updating this manual
Manage the HELP English Budget
This role requires 25 hours a week, mostly during office hours (Mon-Fri 9am-6pm) we are flexible with you making your schedule

Volunteer Requirements

Spanish level: Higher Intermediate, as you need to be able to help other teachers with issues in their schools
Native English speaker or very advanced level of English
Time commitment: min 3 months, 6 months or more preferred
Patient, responsible, and strong personality
Creativity
Some experience working in a school setting or teaching English
TEFL or TESL training would be preferred but not required

HELP English Teacher - Local Primary School

Your role will consist of leading the English classes, where possible this will be done together with another volunteer. At present, the general level of English of our learners across all schools and settings is basic, and it is important that volunteers are prepared to be teaching students or learners who will more than likely be at a beginner level. Generally, volunteers will work with classes once or twice a week, and the length of lessons is usually around an hour, but can sometimes be shortened or extended depending on other activities of schools and settings. The class teacher will usually be there in the classroom with you but normally not participating. Depending on which class you teach the assistance you will receive from the teacher will vary. Specific tasks include a combination of the activities listed below.

Volunteer roles/working hours

Giving formal English lessons to children
Preparing lesson plans based on our curriculum outline – although we do have a subject curriculum in place it is very much an outline, you are responsible as the teacher for coming up with engaging and creative lesson plans. The project coordinator and/or assistant manager will be available to assist you in this.
Submitting your lesson plans to the project coordinator or assistant manager by Thursday each week for the following week
Guaranteeing that all the materials used during each session are stored and put back into place afterwards.
Bringing new ideas to improve the HELP English project.
Attending weekly meetings with your fellow volunteer teachers
The school is open most of the year (from March to mid-December). Volunteers can get there from Monday to Friday – in the morning (8am until 1pm). Do not forget you’ll need some time for planning activities and staff meetings!

Volunteer requirements

Age 18+ on arrival
Basic to Intermediate Spanish level when you start working – we can arrange Spanish courses for you to start on arrival, which can boost your Spanish before you start volunteering.
Minimum commitment: 2 months
Empathetic, responsible, pro-active and strong enough personality to deal with unexpected situations and ask for help when necessary.
Some experience teaching or working with children
Empathetic, responsible, pro-active and strong enough personality to deal with unexpected situations and ask for help when necessary.
Good team player.
Ability and/or confidence to deal with streetwise children.

HELP English Teacher- Summer Programme (January-March)

We partner with the local library to put on free English classes open to all children ages 6-17 years old. They are split into groups based on their ages. As these classes are not in a formal school setting we encourage volunteers to take on this challenge a bit differently and teach though games, activities and crafts. The kids are on their summer holiday, so make the classes fun and educational at the same time!

Volunteer Roles/ Working Hours

Giving informal English lessons to children
Preparing lesson plans based on our curriculum outline – although we do have a subject curriculum in place it is very much an outline, you are responsible as the teacher for coming up with engaging and creative lesson plans. The project coordinator and/or assistant manager will be available to assist you in this.
Taking regular attendance of your classes
Guaranteeing that all the materials used during each session are stored and put back into place afterwards.
Bringing new ideas to improve the HELP English project.
Attending weekly meetings with your fellow volunteer teachers

Volunteer Requirements

Age 18+ on arrival
Basic to Intermediate Spanish level when you start working – we can arrange Spanish courses for you to start on arrival, which can boost your Spanish before you start volunteering.
Minimum commitment: 2 months
Empathetic, responsible, pro-active and strong enough personality to deal with unexpected situations and ask for help when necessary.
Some experience teaching or working with children
Empathetic, responsible, pro-active and strong enough personality to deal with unexpected situations and ask for help when necessary.
Good team player.
Ability and/or confidence to deal with streetwise children.

HELP English Teacher- Mountain Village of Yanasara

Yanasara is a remote mountain village, situated two hours from Huamachuco in the province of La Libertad. The school doesn’t have enough money to employ well qualified teachers and there is also a problem of finding teachers who are willing to work in the mountains. As a result the primary and secondary schools in the village are understaffed and the children do not receive much English language education.

The primary school has around 120 children and the secondary school around 70 to 80 children from 11 to 22 years old. Most of the children live near the school, but some children have to walk for two hours to get to school or stay over from Monday until Friday. The role of the volunteer is to give English classes at the school, however they might ask you to also teach Arts, Physical Education or any other subject. Since the summer of 2009 the secondary school has purchased some new musical equipment (a keyboard, guitars, flutes, clarinet, trumpets, horns, bass drum, small drums). If you play an instrument and you would like to teach the children feel free to organize lessons. The students are very keen to learn to play.

English is not only important for the children of Yanasara but also for adults, who hope to be able to welcome tourists visiting the hot springs. It is possible to teach them too. The village is surrounded by three rivers and lovely mountains, but the main attraction is the thermal baths. These fantastic thermal baths are free for volunteers! As the volunteer in this community you will be able to live in a shared house with the other teachers, free of cost. You will have to cover your own food costs however eating at a local restaurant costs only S/.5.

It is important to note that the school staff in Yanasara do not speak any English, so you will need to feel confident enough to communicate with them in Spanish only. There is no internet connection in this village and purchase any supplies you must travel through car-pool or hitch hiking to Huamachuco.

VolunteerRoles/WorkingHours

Teaching English to children at the primary school
Teaching English to children at the secondary school
Teaching other subjects as Arts, Music and Physical Education at the secondary school
Preparing all of your lesson plans based on very minimal resources.
Communicate weekly with the assistant manager via phone to check in and give an update of how things are going
Please note that there will be no classes during summer vacation here (mid-Dec. to early March.)

Volunteer requirements

Minimum Age: 20
Native English speaker or a very advanced level of English.
Teaching experience, TEFL certified is a plus.
Intermediate Spanish is required.
Independence and flexibility are very important
Affection for working with children (11-22 years old) and sometimes younger
Minimum commitment of 2 months

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Your support makes it possible for us improve education opportunities and social development in the communities where we work around Huanchaco. Creating lasting change through local empowerment. You can Donate by Bank Transfer if you wish.

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