English Program – Nepal

Introducing AIWR’s Nepal Project

AIWR is happy to announce that it is partnering with American Corners-Biratnagar to offer AIWR’s English Program in Biratnagar, Nepal. American Corners are partnerships between the U.S. Embassy in Kathmandu and local organizations in seven locations throughout Nepal, including Biratnagar. Among other services, American Corners provide libraries, computers with Internet access, reference materials, and English-language resources. More information about American Corners can be found on the U.S. Embassy’s website: http://nepal.usembassy.gov/irc.html, or on American Corners-Biratnagar’s Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/American-Corner-Biratnagar/25836877084324....

Beginning in March of 2015, AIWR and American Corners-Biratnagar will be providing AIWR’s English Program to up to five Nepalese women teachers.

Why Nepal?

Nepal is a land of amazing physical beauty and is often thought of in the West as a travel destination for hikers and mountain enthusiasts. However, alongside its great natural treasures, Nepal is also a country in transition, with many economic and political challenges. For women and girls, life in Nepal can be particularly hard. The World Economic Forum ranks Nepal quite low with regards to gender disparity—112 out of 142 countries in its 2014 Global Gender Gap report. Nepal is working toward addressing the wide gender gap through positive changes in laws and policies. However, Nepal’s historically deeply patriarchal culture has caused gender biases to continue to be firmly rooted in the legal, economic, cultural, and social framework of Nepali society. Among other challenges, Nepalese women and girls face some of the highest human trafficking and child marriage rates in the world, along with high rates of domestic and gender-based violence, low literacy rates, and under-representation throughout public life. One former British Ambassador to Nepal described his observations as follows:

"Girls in Nepal suffer from gender discrimination from birth onwards. Fewer girls than boys survive to reach adulthood. Fewer girls are in full-time education, and literacy rates for women are significantly lower than for men. Employment opportunities for girls are significantly worse than for boys. Women are hugely under-represented in all spheres of public life, including politics. Poverty, social exclusion and poor governance all impact on females to a greater extent than on males." —Dr Andrew Hall, former British Ambassador to Nepal, FROM: http://www.asha-nepal.org/pages/the_issues/human_rights.php

Through its long-distance Empowerment Programs, AIWR hopes to work in partnership with Nepalese women to continue to close the large gender gap and to help open new opportunities for Nepalese women and girls.

AIWR-Nepal English Program Details

Beginning in March 2015, AIWR and American Corners-Biratnagar are seeking up to five ESL/EFL women professionals to teach and mentor five Nepalese women teachers.

  • Volunteer qualifications: Each volunteer teacher must be an experienced ESL/EFL teacher, with teaching certification or equivalent experience. Our Nepalese partner is seeking female teachers who can serve as professional women role models and mentors for Nepalese women.
  • One-to-one match: Each teacher is matched with one student. The student and teacher meet twice weekly via Skype, for approximately one hour each session, with email assignments in between classes if the student is able to manage the extra work.
  • Commitment: We are asking each teacher for a minimum three-month commitment.
  • Nepal Schedule: Currently, our classes in Nepal occur at 3:00 pm (Nepal time), on any day of the week except for Wednesday.
  • Understanding the time difference: To determine what time the classes are in your local time zone, we recommend using an on-line time zone converter. Here is one possible converter to try: http://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/converter.html.
  • No set curriculum: Because of the vast differences in each student’s English skills and goals, we do not use any specific curriculum for our program. Instead, we recruit professional ESL/EFL teachers who can evaluate their student and then find materials that match that student’s skills and goals. We do provide several sources of on-line teaching materials for our teachers. However, we ask that each teacher assess her individual student to determine what her goals and needs are and then tailor the classes to the student’s needs – even if this means creating an individual curriculum from scratch. ur goal is to help the student meet her own individual needs.
  • Student skill level: Most of our students range from high-level beginners to upper-level intermediate in their English skills. Because of the challenges of teaching/learning online, we do not accept students who are complete beginners in our program.
  • Skype: All classes will be conducted via Skype, a free computer-to-computer communication system. Skype software can be found at www.skype.com.
  • Video connections may be limited: Please note that unfortunately we are not able to guarantee that Skype’s video connection will work in Nepal due to the limited bandwidth. This means that teachers might be limited to using only the voice and instant message features during some, or even all of their sessions.
  • Challenges: The technology and Internet connections in Nepal are far from perfect. Because of this, teachers can expect to experience dropped calls, poor connections, or other technology issues.
  • Technology requirements: Volunteer teachers need high-speed Internet access and a headset (external microphones tend to cause the student to hear an echo).

For information on applying to volunteer in our English Program, please see the Volunteer page.