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Pre-Sessional course tutors
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mingdynasty



Joined: 18 Mar 2016
Posts: 20

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 1:44 pm    Post subject: Pre-Sessional course tutors Reply with quote

I've applied for a pre-sessional course tutor position at one of the UK's universities. I have a degree and CELTA and experience of teaching abroad. What kind of things do you teach as a pre-sessional course tutor? Would I be right in thinking you teach vocabulary for specific subjects? What else do you have to teach the students? It's not General English is it?
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11525
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh, and now UK?

Japan, Italy, Poland, Russia, Pakistan/Bangladesh, UAE

Very genuine, troll!!

http://forums.eslcafe.com/job/search.php?search_author=mingdynasty
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sheikh radlinrol



Joined: 30 Jan 2007
Posts: 1222
Location: Spain

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 2:24 pm    Post subject: Re: Pre-Sessional course tutors Reply with quote

mingdynasty wrote:
Would I be right in thinking you teach vocabulary for specific subjects? What else do you have to teach the students? It's not General English is it?

Quite right Ming. If your students are hairdressers you teach them dandruff, trim, scissors etc. It´s not general, it´s very technical stuff.
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gregory999



Joined: 29 Jul 2015
Posts: 372
Location: 999

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 5:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Pre-Sessional course tutors Reply with quote

mingdynasty wrote:
What else do you have to teach the students? It's not General English is it?

You teach them music, dance, and drama.
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johncoan



Joined: 02 Jul 2010
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2016 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, that's three more replies than I got (for my same-themed thread)!
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spiral78



Joined: 05 Apr 2004
Posts: 11525
Location: On a Short Leash

PostPosted: Mon Mar 28, 2016 3:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Trolls must be fed, john. Please do note that he was fed on useless garbage, though, as opposed to nutrient-rich real advice. Sorry I can't offer any real meat on the UK presessional thing. I know people who have done/will do them, but like most gigs in tight markets, seems reputation and contacts are key. You just have to build those.
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scot47



Joined: 10 Jan 2003
Posts: 15330

PostPosted: Thu Mar 31, 2016 9:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Troll again ?
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johncoan



Joined: 02 Jul 2010
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Fri Apr 01, 2016 11:03 am    Post subject: Re: Pre-Sessional course tutors Reply with quote

gregory999 wrote:
mingdynasty wrote:
What else do you have to teach the students? It's not General English is it?

You teach them music, dance, and drama.


Not on pre-sessional courses you don't!

I'll report later in the year once I've started at Sheffield (I'm surprised there aren't threads on this already).
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 972
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 1:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you really want to know about pre-sessional teaching and what is expected of a tutor, just check out some of the current vacancies on the BALEAP website.

For example, at Queen Mary's, London :

https://www.baleap.org/jobs/jobs-606/

or at Sheffield

https://www.baleap.org/jobs/jobs-585/

You will be teaching EAP for a minimum of 20 hours per week, so there would be lots of lesson preparation, loads of oral and written feedback to students, relentless marking of research projects, presentations, marking final assessments, writing reports, in-course weekly meetings and workshops. Usually you would have a dozen or so personal tutees to meet every week too. It's a very full timetable.
Not for the faint hearted!

The vast majority of students on pre-sessional courses are postgraduates and very focused on getting into their chosen department. Often they have work experience in their chosen area. They can be very demanding and if they sense you are wasting their time, they will complain (justifiably).
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johncoan



Joined: 02 Jul 2010
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 8:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with all of that apart from the last comment.

The vast majority of students doing these courses in the UK are from China (97% at Sheffield this year, I was told), and they're unlikely to complain about anything (also something I was told) as they're not especially demanding or motivated, typically coming from wealthy backgrounds and being largely unaware of what they're letting themselves in for, as well as expecting to get through the summer without particularly exerting themselves. And I think that is what happens in the majority of cases.
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 972
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I cannot really comment about Sheffield as I have never worked there, but there are several sweeping generalisations in what 'you have been told'.

Chinese students have changed dramatically over the past 10-15 years and they are no longer so meek and mild and unmotivated - at least at the university where I work. They can, and do, complain if they are not satisfied. They are very competitive.

And if they don't exert themselves over the summer in our place, they fail.

Let us know how your summer goes at Sheffield - I'm surprised they even know yet how many students have enrolled on the pre-sessional course, let alone know already there are 97% Chinese!
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johncoan



Joined: 02 Jul 2010
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Sat Apr 02, 2016 10:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually I think the 97% figure was given in reference to last year's intake.

Do many fail, then? I can't imagine, with the pressure on universities and HE institutions these days to 'perform', that they're that fussed about a couple of percentage points here and there! Aren't most 'pushed through' regardless?
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Dedicated



Joined: 18 May 2007
Posts: 972
Location: UK

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johncoan wrote

Quote:
Do many fail then?...Aren't most 'pushed through' regardless?



I think a lot will depend on the ranking of the university - the lower the ranking, the fewer are failed. They need to 'attract' and keep students. At more prestigious institutions, they are chucked out. I think last summer approximately 10% out of 500 did not pass the pre-sessional course, mostly Chinese and Arabs. Of course, there are no refunds!
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johncoan



Joined: 02 Jul 2010
Posts: 115

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oooof!

Oxford Uni employee then are you? Wink
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slapntickle



Joined: 07 Sep 2010
Posts: 269

PostPosted: Sun Apr 03, 2016 10:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

johncoan wrote:
I agree with all of that apart from the last comment.

The vast majority of students doing these courses in the UK are from China (97% at Sheffield this year, I was told), and they're unlikely to complain about anything (also something I was told) as they're not especially demanding or motivated, typically coming from wealthy backgrounds and being largely unaware of what they're letting themselves in for, as well as expecting to get through the summer without particularly exerting themselves. And I think that is what happens in the majority of cases.


Gotta agree with this. We also have a large cohort of Chinese on our presessional courses. Some classes are over 90% Chinese! Their English levels are atrocious but the pass mark is set very low and we are expected to mark generously. In other words, the manager of the language centre doesn't want any failures. I wish we could fail more but we wouldn't get invited back if we did.
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