the job description - Australian Volunteers International

EFL Teacher Trainer
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma)
AVI has negotiated this assignment in good faith with the Host Organisation, and the information
contained was correct at the time of acceptance of the request. However, while AVI takes
responsibility for matters under our direct control, all assignments and arrangements are subject to
change due to the inherent low levels of predictability in developing country environments. This
assignment may be amended or withdrawn to reflect changes in circumstances.
General Details
Assignment Title
English as a Foreign Language (EFL) Teacher Trainer
Host Organisation
National Centre for English Language, Department of
English, Yangon University
Website of Host Organisation
Duration of Assignment
9 months
Start Date
September 2015
Pre-departure Briefing Date
AVI Assignment Code
Host Organisation Overview
The National Centre for English Language (NCEL) is based within Yangon University, and provides
both pre-service and in-service training for Myanmar teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL),
as well as providing other expert language services to the government.
It is the pre-eminent centre in Myanmar for the teaching of English and for the training of EFL teachers.
All students in the Centre are graduates, having completed a minimum of BA in English.
Entry to the Centre is through a competitive examination, and gives access to a post graduate Diploma
in English Language Teaching. The Centre also provides short courses for those already holding an
MA in English, who wish to become tutors in one of Myanmar’s universities.
NCEL was established in December 2004 as a result of the recommendations of the national Task
Force on Upgrading of English Language Teaching, set up by the Myanmar Ministry of Education as
part of the special Four Year Education Plan. While NCEL was established within Yangon University, it
has a national remit.
Assignment Overview
Under direction of the Minister for Education, the NCEL is seeking international development
cooperation in order to upgrade its capacity, and assist in meeting the rapidly growing needs for
English language skills within Myanmar.
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Education is one of the priority sectors in Australia’s development cooperation with Myanmar, and
within this sector, the Ministry of Education has prioritised English language teaching, given that access
to other assistance in the education sector will likely be in English, and that the country’s capacity in
English language is lagging seriously behind other SE Asian countries.
Current staff have both a high level of English language fluency and teaching skills. However, there are
very few in number compared to the need. Therefore, this position is aimed at assisting both with
immediately increasing the number of skilled Myanmar EFL teachers, and to strengthen the NCEL’s
internal capacity in continued provision of EFL training.
Specifically, this position will focus on building the teaching knowledge and skills within the faculty of
the English Department of Yangon University and from 46 other universities around the country.
Assignment Objectives
EFL teaching proficiency of faculty from the English Department of Yangon University and from 46
other universities improved
English proficiency of faculty and students improved as a result of interaction with the volunteer
Duties and Responsibilities of the Volunteer
Training faculty staff from the English department and other departments
Co-teaching students with local teachers
Observing classrooms and providing feedback to faculty
Assignment Information
Line Manager: Professor and
Head of English Department, Yangon University or Director of
National Centre for English Language.
Staff supervision: This is an advisory role. There will be no supervision of other staff.
Hours & Days of employment: The expectation is that the volunteer will work the equivalent of a
5 day week to a maximum of 40 hours per week. However working hours are negotiable. Core hours of
work are 9:30am to 4pm, Monday to Friday.
Leave entitlements: Volunteers will accrue 1 week of annual leave for each 3 months of work. For
sick leave, the entitlement is 10 days. A medical certificate is required in case of consecutive absence.
Other Conditions: Internet access is not always perfect, but it is available; the volunteer’s office has
a computer and necessary furniture; LCD projectors are available; CD players, computers or laptops in
all classrooms.
Language skill and level required: The level of language competency in Myanmar/Burmese the
volunteer will need to carry out this assignment is low. However, some competence in the language is
likely to contribute to greater effectiveness in the role.
Language support: All AVI volunteers in Myanmar receive 2 weeks / 20 hours of intensive language
training during in-country orientation, and all can obtain a further allowance to cover the cost of
additional language lessons arranged later during their assignment.
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Living as a Volunteer
Yangon is the former capital city of the country and has an international airport with approximately 12
flights a day to Bangkok and several more to other regional hubs (eg. Singapore, Kuala Lumpur).
It is a multicultural city, with a long history, including a British colonial history, with many different ethnic
groups, and a large and growing expatriate community living and working around Yangon. It has a
mixture of Burmese and western culture, with a strong sense of cultural preservation.
Myanmar (Burmese) is the national language, with minority languages in use in different areas of the
country. English is quite widely spoken in urban areas and at a very high level by much of the elite.
However, it is probably less current than in some other countries in the region.
Sixty to seventy percent of the population in Yangon is Buddhist, with the remaining 30% primarily
Christian and Muslim. Although there are some religious tensions (between Muslims and Buddhists)
primarily in Rakhine State, people with different religions generally live harmoniously in Yangon and in
other major cities.
Yangon is a city full of life, with plenty of activities for adults and children. It is known for its ancient
pagodas, parks and museums. Shopping malls and markets are reportedly the best in the country.
However, branded and imported goods are expensive compared to other neighbouring countries.
There are many clubs and classes to join: from yoga, public speaking; Burmese language, dancing;
painting, writing, music; etc. It has a vibrant art scene that has existed for many decades. It has music traditional, contemporary and modern.
Standards of dress are relatively conservative for both men and women. Shorts are not appropriate in
any work context, and shoulders and upper arms should be covered. Sandals are acceptable footwear
in almost any context. Respectful behaviour towards Buddhist (and other) clergy, and older people, is
important. Foreigners should avoid initiating discussions on politics unless with people they know well,
and never in public contexts.
The city is considered a particularly safe living and working environment. There is very little violent
crime, and so far, little opportunistic theft.
The city’s infrastructure is generally in poorer condition than in other south-east Asian capitals. Public
transport in Yangon is limited and tends to be crowded and uncomfortable. Traffic jams are notoriously
common. However, there is an abundance of taxis, and fares are affordable – between US$2 and
US$4 to most areas. Driving in Yangon is not recommended. Bicycles and motorcycles are not
permitted on the main streets, although some foreigners ignore this rule with apparent impunity.
Currently, two new foreign mobile phone companies have entered the market, bringing rapid change to
this sector. The cost of a local sim card is now less than $10, and falling, for basic service (sms/calls).
Local calls are cheap, though network quality is unreliable. Most internet users in Yangon use their
phone for internet access. It is currently not easily possible to call or sms a local mobile phone from
outside the country, except via Skype. Internet speeds are overall slower than elsewhere in Asia.
However, in most work locations they are strong enough to support Skype.
While ATMs are spreading and improving, it is currently not fully reliable to withdraw funds from an
Australian bank account from ATMs, or transfer funds from Australia to a local account. Credit cards
are not widely accepted. As a result, it is largely a cash economy, with crisp, unblemished $US notes
are required to exchange to local currency. Volunteers are currently paid in cash. Although this may
change as the banking system, too, is changing rapidly.
Other Requirements
Selection Criteria
Please begin by writing your responses to the following three questions, in a document headed Response to Selection Criteria:
a. Why do I feel that volunteering overseas is the right thing for me to be doing at this time in my life?
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(up to half a page)
b. What are the biggest personal adjustments I’m likely to have to make to be accepted as a useful
colleague and engaged community member in this assignment? (up to half a page)
c. How do I match the Essential Skills & Experience: Write a brief summary of your most relevant
experiences, results and achievements responding to each criteria in the Essential Skills & Experience
section of the Assignment Description.
Please click here for more details about preparing your application.
Please click here to learn more about the personal competencies required to be a Volunteer.
EFL teaching qualification, preferably at Masters level.
Essential Skills & Experience
Experience in teacher training
Good communication skills
Commitment to team work, coaching, and mentoring others
Awareness and sensitivity of cross-cultural settings
Patience, tolerance and flexibility
Ability to cope with cultural isolation and a different standard of living
A preparedness to work with limited resources within a challenging environment
Allowances & Support
These allowance levels are based on the Cost of Living in country. They will be reviewed periodically
and may increase or decrease. Volunteers will be given notice of any change to the allowance level.
Living Allowance
Accommodation Allowance
AUD871.50 per month
AUD 1800.00 per month
AVI in-country staff will assist the volunteer to find appropriate rental accommodation. Due to the recent
opening up of the country, and the relative shortage of housing stock, rents are relatively high. Some
volunteers choose to share accommodation.
Other Allowances & Support
All AVID Volunteers receive the following:
Pre-departure Briefing in Melbourne
In-country Orientation on arrival
Pre-departure vaccination expenses
Visa expenses
Pastoral care, assignment monitoring and security guidance
Return airfare to country of assignment
Psychological and medical advice and support services
Re-entry Support services
Settling in allowance (assignments longer than 6 months)
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Re-settlement allowance (assignments longer than 6 months)
How to Apply
Should you wish to apply for this position please visit
Select the assignment you are interested in and follow the prompts at the end of the page.
This assignment is part of the Australian Volunteers for International
Development program, an Australian Government initiative.
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