The Constraints of Language

Language is simply a tool used to facilitate interactions with other humans, but here in Nicaragua (and all Spanish speaking communities) it comes as a double-edged machete, especially concerning its impact on gender (in)equity. The Spanish language, like every language, … Continue reading The Constraints of Language


Boys to Gentlemen – Mini-Camp CHACA, San Juan del Río Coco Edition

Back in July, I had the pleasure of working as a camp counselor at Camp CHACA (CHavalos a CAballeros, Boys to Gentlemen), as well as working on the planning committee to organize the camp. The camp was held in the … Continue reading Boys to Gentlemen – Mini-Camp CHACA, San Juan del Río Coco Edition


PCV Project: Sexual Diversity Training for Teachers

Recently teachers and MINED técnicos in Muelle de los Bueyes, RAAS had the opportunity to participate in a workshop about sexual diversity. The workshop involved presentation on topics such as concepts of sexual diversity, gender rights for the LGBT community, … Continue reading PCV Project: Sexual Diversity Training for Teachers


Teacher Training on Gender

  Have you ever found yourself wondering why only the boys ever play soccer during recess, or how girls are almost always called on when the class needs mopping but not nearly as often when a question needs answering? Have … Continue reading Teacher Training on Gender


Counterpart relations across genders: Volunteers speak

You asked, we investigated! Some volunteers wanted to hear suggestions or advice for working with counterparts of the opposite sex. We polled current volunteers from all sectors and here’s how volunteers responded in their own words…  … Males PCVs with Female CPs … “I always hear comments or chisme about how I’m dating the profeI work with. When it’s kids from class I tell them that we just work together, but when it’s adults making jokes I laugh it off.” “I made a point to get to know my profes’ husbands and families. And also just co-plan at times and … Continue reading Counterpart relations across genders: Volunteers speak


Resource Overview: Teaching English to Prevent HIV Manual

Education is a key to preventing the spread of HIV and reducing stigma and discrimination against those who are living with the virus. Teach English to Prevent HIV: A Teacher’s Manual is designed to enable PCVs to teach English while also providing students a safe space to learn about HIV/AIDS and develop life skills that reduce their vulnerability to infection. The curriculum focuses primarily, though not exclusively, on speaking and listening skills and aims to achieve a measurable impact on students’ knowledge, attitudes, self-efficacy, intentions, and behaviors. 
Props to the HIV-AIDS Taskforce for sharing this information in their monthly update!

Program Design:

This manual is designed for school-based programs targeting students ages 13–16 with an intermediate level of English language proficiency, but could be adapted for an intermediate community class, a group of college students studying English or even a class with English teachers.
Most lessons last one hour, except lessons 10 and 11 which require project work and more time; however, all lessons could easily be extended to an hour and a half with more time for review and language reinforcement activities.

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Piropos in the classroom… what do you do?

Even if it the words weren’t aimed directly towards us, we’ve all heard piropos. Cat calls… Hola mi amor. Chelita bonita. Regálame un beso, mwah! Preciosa. Mírame con esos ojos gatos. Oooh baby. Dame su número. The tone of voice, the leering stares, the kisses and mocking laughter—it’s enough to make your skin crawl right off your body and into a cleansing bleach bath. It’s one thing when piropos come from truck drivers or intoxicated men on the street, but on school grounds, or in the classroom… what do you do?
Volunteers from around the country sound off on how they responded to piropos in the education environment…

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Mochila Educativa: Autoestima

The Mochila Educativa is a resource developed by MINSA and Nicaragua Avanza “as an educational guide that allows adolescents to learn about a series of themes concerning sexual reproductive health in order to apply and share the information with other adolescents, young people, family members and community groups.”
This Spanish-language guide offers activities and plans for teaching youth about the following themes:

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Gender in the English Language classroom

I was very excited and surprised in a planning session with one of my counterparts (CPs) because the CP had printed flashcards for presenting different types of sports. Soccer, football, cycling, swimming, tennis, baseball, basketball, volleyball… we were ready to go! Except, then I realized every single picture was of a male athlete. When I brought this to the teacher’s attention, the CP responded “But girls don’t play football.” That’s true, I conceded, but we went on to make a pile of the sports women do play (most of them) and the sports women don’t play (football and baseball).

I don’t think this teacher was intentionally favoring male athletes. My CP was just going with what they see most often, and probably some of the first images that popped up on an online search. It’s an easy thing to do. That got me thinking about all the topics during the year when it’s especially important to be conscious about how we portray gender norms to our students.

In light of the fact that María can be a doctor and Juan can be a secretary, I’ve compiled this list of topics with relevant vocabulary or other concerns for all you TEFL-eros, TEFL-eras and your counterparts to keep in mind…
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