Secondary Education English Teacher-TEFL Certificate


Volunteers will participate in Peace Corps’ newly-developed TEFL training program which allows them to earn a Peace Corps TEFL Certificate upon successful completion of program requirements. This program provides 120 hours of standardized training and practice teaching, along with two years of supervised teaching experience, framed through quarterly online learning events facilitated by Peace Corps staff. This training is designed to respond to the goals of TEFL Volunteers. The Certificate program is validated by the Center for Applied Linguistics in Washington, DC. The US State Department and the English language learning sector worldwide have touted Peace Corps’ TEFL Certificate program as a high-quality, game-changing credential.

Volunteers who have served in Zambia consider it to be the "quintessential Peace Corps" experience. This is due to the rural nature of the placements, the warmth of the local people, and the urgent need for their skills. As an English Teacher in Zambia, engaging with students brings great reward. Volunteers find the work challenging, yet extremely fulfilling. The most successful Volunteers in Zambia are extremely flexible, adaptable and have a passion for inspiring others.

Zambia is one of the Peace Corps countries participating in Let Girls Learn, an important initiative promoting gender awareness and girls’ education and empowerment. You will receive in-depth training on incorporating methods of gender analysis into community assessment and development efforts. During your service you will find culturally appropriate ways to incorporate gender awareness and the promotion of youth- especially girls- into your work. As part of the initiative, you will also report on these efforts and their impact.

Required Skills

• Competitive candidates will have a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science degree in any discipline and a strong desire to teach English 
and 3 months, 10 hours/month, or 30 hours of English, foreign language, or literacy tutoring experience with primary, middle, or high school students or adults.

A minimum GPA of 2.5 is required.

Desired Skills

Strong interest in completing Peace Corps' TEFL certificate program and commitment to teaching in a challenging Zambian classroom.

Required Language Skills

There are no pre-requisite language requirements for this position. Please take a moment to explore the Language Comments section below to find out more on how local language(s) will be utilized during service.

Additional Language Information

While English is the official language of Zambia, most Volunteers will need to speak the local language in order to effectively communicate in their community. Some community members may have intermediate or advanced levels of English, most will not. Therefore, Volunteers will be most effective when conversing and working in the local language and all trainees must come prepared to learn a local Zambian language. 

Trainees will have the privilege of undergoing one of the most comprehensive language immersion programs in the world. 

Trainees will undergo three months of language learning from native speakers in the predominant language spoken at the site in which you will be placed. You will be required to attain intermediate level score in this language. You will also receive a survival language kit for the dialect found in your site and encouraged to engage the services of a tutor (paid for by Peace Corps) once you get to your site.

Living Conditions

Becoming an English Teacher in Zambia requires commitment to working in remote areas with mentally and physically challenging environments. However, Volunteers in Zambia often note that living without such modern conveniences is among the easiest adjustments to make. 

Volunteers must be prepared to bike long distances (up to 15 miles in one direction) and to work and live in rural Zambian settings. Housing will be mud huts with thatched or tin roofs and no electricity. Water will be from a nearby well or stream, which is then filtered through a Peace Corps-issued water filter. 
Volunteers typically live on a large housing compound with two or three other families, but have their own housing structure, cooking area, private washing area, and latrine. Volunteers may choose to share meals with their host neighbors or cook on their own.

Cell phone coverage for sending and receiving calls may not be completely reliable in all communities, but all Volunteers report having cell phone coverage nearby to at least be able to text. 

Bringing a laptop increases options for internet access and also enables Volunteers to complete required assignments off-line and upload them at a later date. While Volunteers may also complete their assignments through local internet cafes or other access points, having a laptop will facilitate successful participation in training. Some Volunteers have found that tablets or smart phones are at times not effective alternatives.

Peace Corps Zambia supports its Volunteers in this uniquely rural environment through a strong regional office model. In each province where Volunteers serve, PC/Zambia operates a Provincial House, which is staffed year round and serves as an oasis (electricity, showers, internet), as well as a resource center for work collaboration and training. Further, having Peace Corps Staff and resources nearby allows for more comprehensive and timely support of volunteers, especially their health and safety -which are Peace Corps' top priorities.

Medical Considerations in Zambia

  • Zambia may not be able to support Volunteers with the following medical conditions: asthma, including mild or childhood; cardiology; gastroenterology; insulin-dependent diabetes; mammography; ongoing behavioral health support; some types of gynecologic support; seizure disorder; urology.
  • The following medication(s) are not permitted for legal or cultural reasons: Adderall, Ritalin and Vyvanse.
  • Volunteers who should avoid the following food(s) may not be able to serve: eggs and gluten
  • After arrival in Zambia, Peace Corps provides and applicants are required to have an annual flu shot, to take daily or weekly medication to prevent malaria, and to receive mandatory immunizations.

Does this sound like the position for you? Applying to the Peace Corps is easy. Read more about the process or click the button below to get started on your journey.
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