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Pre -Sessional job interview

 
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eihpos



Joined: 14 Dec 2008
Posts: 198

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 6:53 am    Post subject: Pre -Sessional job interview Reply with quote

I have an interview for the pre- sessional summer course at Southampton. I'd love to get it but I'm quite nervous as I've never worked on one before. Also, I don't have an MA (well, a relevant one!) and I'm aware that I will be competing with those who do.

Does anyone have any tips or remember any specific questions they were asked for their pre-sessional interview
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CANDLES



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 430
Location: Wandering aimlessly.....

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 1:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For a summer course you'll be teaching students who've come over from Europe, or further to enhance their English. They are usually teenagers uptil the age of 18 max.

In your interview you'll probably be asked some grammar questions and your background plus relevant teaching experience.

Do not be nervous because all/most of the teachers have gone through the same process. As for having MA, did they specify that they want that qualification? I don't think it's relevant. Students study for half a day, go off on excursion in the afternoon/or morning and vice versa. Some students are great, some are typical nightmares.

You'll be fine. Good luck and have a good summer. Laughing
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eihpos



Joined: 14 Dec 2008
Posts: 198

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for your reply Candles! I think you are describing a typical summer school programme (which I have done before - a lot, hence want a change!)
This is an EAP pre - sessional in a university for students over 18 (I presume!) A DELTA or MA is preferred, though not essential, or I wouldn't be getting the interview.
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PC Parrot



Joined: 11 Dec 2009
Posts: 382
Location: Moral Police Station

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 3:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wouldn't hurt if you had a few grammar consciousness raising techniques up your sleeve. Typically, do a reading (see below) and have GCR questions based on the text - it is better if the students are familiar with and have understood the text before you ask them to analyse it.

For readings, try to get your hands on Nuttall - Teaching reading in a Foreign Language. It will give your between 5 and 10 different approaches when using a text.

For writing, make sure you are familiar with the basic 4 paragraph essay: thesis statements, topic sentences, supporting ideas, extra details, and concluding sentences.

And make sure you're familiar with the existence of word frequency lists - especially the academic word list.
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CANDLES



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 430
Location: Wandering aimlessly.....

PostPosted: Fri Mar 07, 2014 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

With all due respect Eihpos, I have been interviewed as well for the summer schools and universities and was accepted for them all; teaching teenagers and university students. Both asked similar questions.
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NilSatis82



Joined: 03 May 2009
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 2:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CANDLES wrote:
With all due respect Eihpos, I have been interviewed as well for the summer schools and universities and was accepted for them all; teaching teenagers and university students. Both asked similar questions.


Wow! Having taught both in a summer school and on a pre-sessional, I'd be very surprised if that were the case.

Eihpos, I think the advice given by PC Parrot is sound. I would say there is a good chance you'll be asked about your approach to giving feedback (both oral and written) as students will obviously tend to have much higher expectations than you're average 14-year-old Italian on holiday in the UK.

Writing skills are particularly important on pre-sessionals and it is fairly likely that students will have specific writing classes as part of their programme, so be prepared to be asked about teaching writing. Plagiarism is a particular problem, so knowing a bit about this issue would also be helpful.

Most students will probably be from Asia (China in particular), so you may be asked about your experience with Asian learners or how you might adapt to teaching them if your experience is in Europe. However, I personally don't think this is such a big issue - most students understand that academic expectations in the UK are different from Asia and they are usually eager to learn the skills that will help them overcome any difficulties. (Note, that's not to say they find it easy, just that they are usually willing to change and have an idea of what to expect).

Experience of teaching IELTS or TOEFL would help a bit although most teachers who have taught both IELTS and EAP would probably agree that IELTS doesn't really come close to adequately preparing students for academic study in the UK. That said, a lot of the useful things you will have learnt from teaching TEFL still holds true in an EAP class. They're still language students, so don't worry too much about the differences!

Also, don't worry about not having a relevant Master's. Most teachers won't have one although I'd say most probably DO have a DELTA or equivalent.

Good luck!
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CANDLES



Joined: 01 Nov 2011
Posts: 430
Location: Wandering aimlessly.....

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
They're still language students, so don't worry too much about the differences!


So what was I saying that was different? Rolling Eyes
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NilSatis82



Joined: 03 May 2009
Posts: 101

PostPosted: Mon Mar 10, 2014 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

CANDLES wrote:
Quote:
They're still language students, so don't worry too much about the differences!


So what was I saying that was different? Rolling Eyes


You've misinterpreted what I wrote. I didn't say that teaching teenagers at a summer school was the same as teaching international students on a pre-sessional. They're most definitely different in that they have very different needs and therefore demand completely different approaches. The logical progression is that the type of questions that you'll get asked at interview will be different (as was the case for me and no doubt hundreds of others who have done both).

I used the quote that you've highlighted to reassure the OP that what they have no doubt learnt through teaching general English can still be successfully applied to teaching on an EAP course. Just like any other students, EAP student still need help improving their language. However, that definitely does not mean it's the same as teaching at a summer school!
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