Bhutan’s Institute of Language and Culture Studies – Vacancy Announcement

Bhutan’s Institute of Language and Culture Studies, a college of the Royal University of Bhutan, welcomes applications for 2 English instructor positions: one begins in July 2015, and the other in February 2016. An MA is required, but there is no age limit for foreign lecturers.

Learn more here:Vacancy-Announcement-2015

Apply Today to Teach in Bhutan

Applications to Teach in Bhutan open until June 30th!

Travel a world away. Make a world of difference. Teach in Bhutan.

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Photo Credit: 2015 BCF Teachers

We are specifically looking for Elementary and Secondary Math, Science and English teachers as well as Special Education specialists to fill positions in public schools in rural Bhutan. No other language needed, as English is the language of instruction in Bhutan. Applicants must have a BEd, equivalent teaching certification, or proof of at least three years relevant teaching experience.

These year-long contracts are renewable up to five years and run from January to December. We are currently recruiting for the 2016 school year. Teachers receive a local salary and accommodation is secured prior to arrival. Please see our website www.teachinbhutan.org or email teach@bhutancanada.org to learn more.

This is an incredible opportunity to live and work in one of the most remote and untouched nations in the world as Bhutan moves towards an exciting and innovative transformation to a more interactive, thoughtful and participatory system of education.

Apply Today!

Farewell Class of 2014!

What a year it has been for our class of 2014! As the new BCF teachers get ready for their departure in January, our class of 2014 teachers reflect on their year spent in Bhutan. Some teachers are continuing on with BCF for their second, third, and even fourth year, while others have left Bhutan to travel other parts of the world before returning home.

To all the teachers who have given so much to Bhutan this past year, we thank you and wish you the best in all your future endeavours!

Photo Credit: Vicky Chartres - BCF final hurray at Royal Civil Service Commission Conference Hall
Photo Credit: Vicky Chartres – BCF final hurray at Royal Civil Service Commission Conference Hall
Photo Credit: Warren Tanner - Spectacular Gongthung
Photo Credit: Warren Tanner – Spectacular Gongthung
Photo Credit: Sarah Diamond - Class 7B!
Photo Credit: Sarah Diamond – Class 7B!

Give the Gift of Education. Support BCF!

“My students are motivated, kind and hilarious. The belief in Bhutan is that education is the only way to improve one’s circumstance. My students’ kindness, respect and gratitude make my work worthwhile. Replicating their positive attitude helps me to notice the incredible beauty around me…If nothing else; my students have taught me the power of positive thinking and the need for great teachers in every school on Earth…”Mackenzie Walton Tsebar LSS, Pemagatshel

Diamond, Sarah - Boy Students

This year the Bhutan Canada Foundation celebrated its 5 th Anniversary in partnership with the people of Bhutan to cultivate English literacy and bring critical thinking and innovation to the forefront of educational practice. Since the launch of the Bhutan Canada Foundation in 2009, we have worked with the Ministry of Education in Bhutan to transform the standards of public education by sending 69 teachers to 39 distinct communities across the country.

Our teachers work alongside their local colleagues to improve literacy and encourage learning; working diligently with a team of educators that have provided 10,800 Bhutanese youth with the opportunity to achieve an education that might otherwise have been unattainable. Your donation will make an immediate difference in the lives of Bhutanese students!

In a few short weeks we will send a new group of teachers to Bhutan. This includes 17 new teachers, 1 returning alumni teacher and 4 teachers already in the field who are staying on for a second, third, or fourth year. We are excited to keep you updated on their progress as they get adjusted to their new schools and communities!

BCFTeachers(2010-2014)

Welcome Class of 2015!

Welcome class of 2015!

The Bhutan Canada Foundation is happy to announce seventeen wonderful new teachers along with five renewals who will all be in Bhutan in January 2015!

That brings a total of 22 teachers who will bring their knowledge and experience to teach their awaiting Bhutanese students skills in Mathematics, Science, English, and other valuable life lessons. This year our teachers will be placed across 9 different Dzongkhags (Districts), Wangdue Phodrang, Mongar, Bumthang, Pemagatshel, Dagana, Punakha, Trashigang, Thimphu, Trashiyangste.

As in previous years we have teachers coming from a variety of nationalities and of various educational and professional backgrounds – all of whom are ready to take on the challenges and amazing opportunities that await them in Bhutan!

Over the next few weeks we will be introducing all of our teachers with their profile. Today we are pleased to introduce Megan Haskin who will be teaching English at Rangjung LSS in Trashigang!

Megan Haskin Photo

Megan is native born South African who is in love with food, nature, children and her husband! She first traveled to Thailand in 2011 and has been bitten by the travel bug ever since. She has since then traveled to Asia multiple times and just keeps coming back for more. Megan completed her Bachelor of Education and then went on to teach in her own country before deciding to move to Asia. Her hobbies include reading, writing, trail running, yoga and gardening – all of which she hopes to continue in Bhutan. Megan and her husband Dylan are looking forward to moving to Bhutan and cannot wait for their new adventure to begin! 

Welcome Megan and Dylan!

Blog of the Week – Chamgang Community Guiding Program

A few weeks ago we posted about BCF teacher Matt Stretton’s Junior Guiding Program that was featured in Kuensel Online. Since then, Matt has written a short post about some of the in-class activities he used to prepare students for the Program he ran in Bhutan. Included are some photo’s from the day, so take a look at Chamgang Community Guiding Program!

Photo Credit: Matt Stretton - Trees of Chamgang Worksheet
Photo Credit: Matt Stretton – Trees of Chamgang Information Sheet

First of all we brainstormed and discussed what kinds of activities we could offer to our guests as part of a visit, then settled on three of the most interesting and achievable: a visit to a traditional rammed-mud house, a visit to the local goempa and a guided walk in the forest. Next, students engaged in a range of language and talk rich activities designed to equip them with the verbal skills and content knowledge necessary to guide guests during these three activities.

These activities included using flow charts to complete information sheets about Chamgang’ trees and houses, cloze activities to improve reading skills and content knowledge, essay reading, summarizing and note-taking to improve content knowledge and organisational skills, the learning of necessary vocabulary words, spelling practice and of course lots of role plays in which students either played the role of the guide or the guest.

To read more about Matt’s experience educating and living in Bhutan visit his blog at Bos Grunniens: Adventures In The Land of The Yak.

Photo of the Week – End of the year Class Pictures

This week our photos come from BCF teachers Kezia and Ashley! Final exams are coming up for students in Bhutan, and our teachers have been reflecting back on the past year spent educating their students. A few teachers will be returning for a second or third year, but some will be savouring their last few weeks with the people they have made lasting connections with, in the country that each has come to know and love.

Photo Credit: Ashley Lenzen - Nangkhor HSS - "Me and 35 of the reasons I'm staying in Bhutan next year..."
Photo Credit: Ashley Lenzen – Nangkhor HSS – “Me and 35 of the reasons I’m staying in Bhutan next year…”
Photo Credit: Zezia Zuber - Class VII Graduates of Zhemgang Lower Secondary School
Photo Credit: Zezia Zuber – Class VII Graduates of Zhemgang Lower Secondary School

Visit Kezia’s blog at Zuber Goes to Zhemgang and Ashley and her husband’s at Traveled Earth!

Kuensel Online – Junior Guiding Program

BCF teacher Matthew Stretton is currently teaching English at Yangchen Gatshel Lower Secondary School in Thimphu. Matt has been developing a Junior Guiding Program at his school to provide tourists with the opportunity to experience a glimpse into the traditions and culture in Bhutan, guided by the students! The idea for the program arose out of the many excellent experiences he and his wife Lucy had when visiting their students’ homes, or being guided by them through the local forests. 

Photo credit: Kuensal Online - Students and tourists interact during the tour program last Saturday
Photo Credit: Kuensel Online – Students and tourists interact during the tour program.

Among the tourists was the executive director of the Bhutan Canadian Foundation, Nancy Strickland, who suggested the students write down their experiences and also about the community.

“The program is a win-win situation, as the students improve their spoken English and the tourists get to learn about the community first hand,” she said.

Matt conducted the same program with a group of 20 tourists from Australia a week ago with class VII A students. “It was a success,” Matt said.

For those not familiar with Bhutan or Chamgang, it is a unique opportunity to see a slice of life that they wouldn’t otherwise get to see and a good chance to contribute to the education of the students here, he said.

Read more about the program from the Kuensel Online article – One Unique Program With Twin Objectives.

Tshangkha is Happy!

Inspired by Happy Bhutan, BCF teacher Sarah Diamond and students from Tshangkha Lower Secondary School completed a video for their schools variety show! The intention was to celebrate the school’s beauty and build relationships within the school community. Showing off some light-hearted aspects of school life in the midst of some intense exam preparation!

Check out Sarah’s blog Sarah Out and Abhut and her video here!

Update from an Alumnus – Andrea Chisholm

We are very excited to bring you an update from 2013 BCF teacher Andrea Chisholm. Accompanied by her husband and two sons, Andrea spent a year in Bhutan teaching English at Chumey MSS in the district of  Bumthang. Having been home in Australia for over eight months now, Andrea is still very much connected to the country of Bhutan, the students, and the community of people she met along the way.

“We’ve been home from Bhutan since January, and although I feel fully immersed in a rich and happy life here in Australia, I still think of Bhutan everyday. I’ve become a Bhutanophile whose heart was captured by that magical place like no other at the top of the mountains.”

Along with teaching a full schedule in Bhutan, Andrea took on the role as primary school librarian. Following her passion for teaching reading to her students, Andrea has been working on a special project for the last few months that has recently come to fruition. To learn more about this project straight from the source visit Andrea’s blog post Books for Bhutan. Since writing her post, Andrea’s set of twelve books has been completed and she is looking forward to moving this project forward including fundraising to see these books printed and distributed throughout the country!

Photo Credit: Andrea Chisholm - Books for Bhutan Cover

Photo Credit: Andrea Chisholm - Books for Bhutan
Photo Credit: Andrea Chisholm – Books for Bhutan

 Reading seemed to me to be the most important skill my students needed to acquire. Most started school with no knowledge of English and yet this foreign language is the medium for their primary and high school education. Becoming a fluent user of English is imperative to success at school and the only pathway to further education and opportunities in Bhutan and beyond…

I bought a bundle of levelled readers in Thimphu and used these to listen to my students read one on one every morning before school. Most started with level 1 and struggled with even the most simple sentences as they had so little vocabulary in English. The books were made for Australian kids so they were about trips to the park, rock pools or museum, Australian style birthday parties, school fetes and making cheese tomato and lettuce sandwiches!

So, my mind began whirring with the idea of producing a set of very similar levelled readers that were Bhutan-ised. They would need simple modifications to content to draw on Bhutanese children’s prior knowledge and life experience. I thought clear and colourful photographic images of familiar scenes would engage students and help them identify vocabulary. And Jake and Anja would need to make way for Dorji and Deki!

Read about Andrea’s year spent teaching in Bhutan at her blog From Down Under to the Top of the World.