Site Search:
 
TEFL International Supports Dave's ESL Cafe
TEFL Courses, TESOL Course, English Teaching Jobs - TEFL International
Job Discussion Forums Forum Index Job Discussion Forums
"The Internet's Meeting Place for ESL/EFL Students and Teachers from Around the World!"
 
 FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   UsergroupsUsergroups   RegisterRegister 
 ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

ECC Interview
Goto page 1, 2  Next
 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Japan
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Begemot



Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 9
Location: Connecticut

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 6:25 pm    Post subject: ECC Interview Reply with quote

Greetings,

I'm a recent university graduate and I have an interview with ECC in Toronto on the 30th. I really want this job and am confident that I will get it, but I want to ask a few questions first.

The lesson-designing aspect of the interview makes me nervous. I don't have any teaching experience, so lesson planning is alien territory. For those who have gone through these interviews--what did you do for this part? What are the best resources to read online about making ESL lesson plans?

Also, I am planning to brush up on my English grammar since I've heard their grammar test is tricky--can anyone recommend good books to use for study?

Any other advice about how to prepare will be helpful--I am already aware of the basics like dressing professionally, bringing my resume, being perky and cheerful, not flinging my own feces at the interviewers, etc.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Mr_Monkey



Joined: 11 Mar 2009
Posts: 661
Location: Kyuuuuuushuuuuuuu

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Practical English Usage is a good, solid grammar book, although it's not... light by any stretch of the imagination. You could do worse than the Grammar in Use series - Elementary Grammar in Use, for example; or Grammar for English Language Teachers.

My experience with GEOS' grammar test was that you really only need to know the metalanguage to describe language - preposition, adjective, adverb, etc... However, I'm a linguist, so was very comfortable with the language test. I've read elsewhere on the forum (here) that the test is really to ensure that you can basically string a sentence together in English. I wouldn't disagree with that assessment, though others might.

It would help if you could provide more information about the lesson plan - how long does the plan have to be?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
seklarwia



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 1546
Location: Monkey onsen, Nagano

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Since I am also a linguists, perhaps what I considered simple is not what others would consider so easy. I should proably explain a little of what was required in the grammar tests that I have taken and seen.

I took a couple of grammar test that really were more of a basic language test, the bulk of which consisted of a timed mini-essay. I think the Nova topic at the time was to write about why you think you would make a good Nova teacher.

I had also seen a multiple-choice grammar test where a word in a sentence was undelined and you just had to choose whether the word was a verb, adjective, noun, etc.

And with Interac, there was a short spellng test with a list of commonly mispelt words, where you had to simple mark whether you thought they were spelt correctly or not, followed by a short list of sentences where you just had to decide whether the sentences were active or passive. But they seemed more concerned with the results of your personality test than the grammar test.

Come to think of it... there was a pesonality test for Nova too, though they didn't actually say that that was what it was.


Last edited by seklarwia on Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:58 pm; edited 1 time in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Glenski



Joined: 15 Jan 2003
Posts: 12844
Location: Hokkaido, JAPAN

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 9:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The search function is your friend. This is one of the more commonly asked questions on forums, whether for ECC, AEON, GEOS, or any other employer.

Grammar test is 100 questions.
Demo is mostly to test your personality match with students. Don't expect to complete the whole lesson.
Interview is to give you info about the company, followed by panel query to see how you fare under pressure and to see why you are here.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ryu Hayabusa



Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Mon Jul 20, 2009 11:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Begemot

I researched the hell out of ECC on various forums before I came to Japan. Here is a fraction of what I found. I can't seem to find the rest of my files, though. I hope this helps. I didn't write any of this. It's just other people's posts compiled from this and other forums.
-------------------------------------------------------------------------
Teaching terms on the ECC grammar test: realia, "chaining", "role play", "introducing a dialogue, sommelier , revile , musing ,implicit,

The Grammar test will be harder than you expect regardless of what anyone tells you imo. And regardless of how much you study unless you're a straight A english major or have retained a perfect and intimate knowledge of advanced english (mostly covered in high school). It's 100 questions multiple choice and will take perhaps an hour or so to complete. They're very subtle questions in some instances (like do you use "who" or "whom" when referring to multple individual people or asking you what's wrong with the sentence when nothing appears to be wrong [knowledge of advanced english comes into play here]).

The hardest part in my opinion was identifying the parts of speech. You read a sentence then identify if the underlined word is a preposition, adjective, present progressive, past perfect, etc. It's 1/4 of the test so it covers a lot more than the basic PoS like adjective, verb, adverb, etc. The last part is teaching terms which can easily be inferred by common sense (match "dialogue" or "roleplay" with the definition).

Teaching demo

The teaching demo was relaxed - you got 15 mins to prepare a 5 minute lesson and were given guidance. The skill level was complete beginners so you just need to teach 6 or so words of vocab. Topics chosen were colour, animals, fruit, numbers etc. I did body parts and taught 'head, shoulders, knees. toes'. I think it was a good choice - the interviewer complimented the choice and said my demo had been good during the interview itself so I was pretty pleased. Just have a quick think about it beforehand if you're worried.

Another person (referring to the demo lesson)
The idea for the presentation is to act as if the audience understands ZERO English. So practice using short, catchy phrases. If you can sing or say things lyrically, it will come off well. Keep it very simple but try to fit in 2 or 3 little activities. Get the group to talk, with you only talking a little bit. Get them to stand up and wave or jump or walk around. That is what they'll advise you.

More on the demo lesson
Always try to go first. It shows confidence and you tend to be scored higher for doing it without seeing other models. I've never worked for ECC, but this is a pretty universal truth. Of course don't appear to be too over-eager.

Also a benefit of going first is that you don't get the opportunity to over-think your lesson. If you are not well prepared, don't go first.

More demo experience
as for the demonstration , its a piece of cake. they put you in a children’s class room and ask you to demonstrate a lesson to kiddies. You pull a card out of the interviewers hand. You have 5 minutes too think about what your going to do.
basic 10 minute demo, make sure they know exactly what your trying to achieve in teaching the lesson. EG > fruits, big things little things, colors, numbers or whatever it may be

Then we had to prepare a lesson plan (we had about 30 minutes to prepare). We were assigned a specific structure and theme with specific vocab. TIP: try to be as creative as possible, energetic and smile!!! The lesson had to last 7 minutes. (topics included: fruit, animals, emotions, food,etc.-level: beginner to intermediate) I had never prepared a lesson plan in my life and I think i did ok...so don't worry too much but do try to get some ideas from the web before you go.

Even more important than the test though, is the mock lesson. You'll have about 30 minutes to put together a lesson on a given subject and about 10 minutes to execute it. You want to be energetic and confident. Try not to let it show if you're nervous and if you make a mistake, don't stop just roll with it and keep the lesson going. You'll be teaching your fellow interviewees and it is difficult because you have to assume your students have NO ENGLISH SPEAKING ability. Since you know your fellow interviewees know english this can be difficult. They want you to use as very little english as possible outside the assigned grammar. BE SURE TO READ THE LESSON AND TEACH IT AS IT IS WRITTEN. And when I say as it is written, I mean word for word. Congratulate them whenever they get it right, and try to have them interact with each other rather than you (ex. ask them the lesson question, get the answer, get them to ask someone else, and so on and so forth). Don't worry about the time, if your really rolling with it he may give you more time and try to go early (it just helps the nerves). If you do well in the lesson I think they'll overlook a poor showing on the written test (I know I did awful on the grammar test, but in the private interview I was told I had the best lesson so I think that's what got me an offer).

After that you'll have a short private interview where you'll be asked the basic questions (Why do you want to go to Japan? Do you have enough money? etc. etc.)

Just remember, energetic, upbeat, confident. Get that and you'll be fine.

The lesson: it can be intimidating, depending on the group. The best advice I could give is try to go early if you have nerves. Walk through your lesson step-by-step mentally during preparation. Don't get flustered if John interrupts your lesson with suggestions or questions - I think he does that to everyone. Take a deep breath, slow down and make sure you're focusing on the details: whether your "students" are pronunciating correctly, that your props and flash cards are displayed properly, and that you're getting the students to participate and understand every step, instead of just listing off your flash cards and skipping right on.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
kathrynoh



Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 63

PostPosted: Sat Jul 25, 2009 11:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, I'm new to the forums but I had an interview with ECC last year -- I got through but am still waiting to head off because of overstaffing. It's reassuring to see that they are still recruiting Very Happy

I was pretty nervous about the teaching demo and thought I'd totally flunked it but obviously didn't. Some of the things I did (not sure if this helped or not) included using people's names alot and making eye contact and smiling with them through out the demo. I also used lots of repetition.

There were some people in the group who did great demos - well they were entertaining for us, but thinking about it later they weren't really appropriate for the age/skill level. For example having games that required quite a bit of explanation to set up. Some of them would have been hard for an English speaking 6 year old to follow let alone one that didn't speak English. Having said that, I don't know if those people got through the interview or not.

I got a stinker of a topic - classroom objects (chair, desk, etc) so it was hard to think up games or anything but I don't know how important the lesson planning part of it is since you don't need to do any of that on the job. I think they are looking more for personality and energy.

The grammar test is a killer. I didn't get a chance to study for it but I've done a lot of study in that area previously. About half my group failed it. We did the test before lunch and if you didn't pass, you got sent home.

Some of the terms on the test were different to ones we use in Australia. Not sure if they are American English or what but it'd be worth looking at different grammatical terms just in case.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gonzarelli



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 151
Location: trouble in the henhouse

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 5:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Say hi to JB for me!

PS What is a gerund?
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
ssjup81



Joined: 15 Jun 2009
Posts: 562
Location: Tendo, Yamagata, Japan

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gonzarelli wrote:
Say hi to JB for me!

PS What is a gerund?
If I'm not mistaken, the verb + ing words.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message AIM Address Yahoo Messenger MSN Messenger
seklarwia



Joined: 20 Jan 2009
Posts: 1546
Location: Monkey onsen, Nagano

PostPosted: Thu Aug 06, 2009 9:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ssjup81 wrote:
gonzarelli wrote:
Say hi to JB for me!

PS What is a gerund?
If I'm not mistaken, the verb + ing words.


Actually its an 'ing' verb that is being used as a noun:

Football is fun (football = noun)

Swimming is fun (swimming = verb+ing noun = gerund)
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gonzarelli



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 151
Location: trouble in the henhouse

PostPosted: Sat Aug 08, 2009 8:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

seklarwia wrote:
ssjup81 wrote:
gonzarelli wrote:
Say hi to JB for me!

PS What is a gerund?
If I'm not mistaken, the verb + ing words.


Actually its an 'ing' verb that is being used as a noun:

Football is fun (football = noun)

Swimming is fun (swimming = verb+ing noun = gerund)


No idea but that was one of the questions. Still say hi to JB. He rocks!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Deep Thirteen



Joined: 23 May 2009
Posts: 39
Location: East Sea Japan

PostPosted: Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So did you land the job?

Good info here by the way, I'll add my own thoughts and experience.

I went through the day starting at 10:00 AM. The whole day didn't actually seem too long once you are there. Essentially, it was: info session, lunch, teaching demo, test and questionnaire, and interview. JB put on a video of everything to go over in the first two hour info session. He paused at intervals and asked for questions and clarified things. We took a restroom break and drink break (there is a kitchen with drinks around near the restroom). Everything was gone over quite well.

We took lunch at about 12:30PM for an hour (nice Japanese places accross the street. $11 CDN you can get a filling special and free tea.) and then did our demo which was decided at the start of the day to be a group one (he actually asked us what we would prefer). Some of the other posts in old topics on Dave's capture the idea of this VERY important part well. A few others seems to downplay it too much by giving the impression you can just smile through it acting like a monkey. I guess if you have "what they want" then you could get away with it, and if you don't have it then it wouldn't matter how good you performed the teaching. In my view, the demo is much more important than the grammar test; and unlike the grammar test, is something you can't really prepare for.

THE DEMO

What threw me off was the on-the-spot developing of a lesson. Doing it with the group made it somewhat easier since we could pool ideas, but trying to fit in a logical progression of teaching elements, and make it age specific using limited words was difficult. JB gives you an idea of how to work it through in the way he wants, but just trying to remember your part while trying to get the students into it was a problem for me.

As said in another thread, you'll draw a paper with your vocabulary and 'basis' at random, then have to teach it to your fellow interviewees. Teaching it to the group wasn't bad. I guess it depends on the people that day; we were calm but not totally morose either. I think showing effort in playing the part might help you somewhat also.

Anyway, my group got the topic of sports.

It is important to know what age group you are teaching, since you shouldn't do too much talking on your part, other than to example the words and help them out. As a group, we divided up the activities. There were four in my group so it was even. For roughly 20 minutes, we tried to plan each part. We all talked about what would be good for each of us to do. Things such as act out the sport when saying it, repeating in a lyrical way and so forth. Looking at some of the game suggestions on Dave's before I went really helped me get an idea of what games would work (as well as reminding me of some old classroom games I used to play). Each of us got a minute to do our routine. I got the XXXX end of the stick it seems. We all helped out in figuring out how to progess given the scant direction. I offered up at least three ideas which we ended up using for activities. This is where I believe I botched up a bit in that I helped the others in my group more than myself, since they used my games for their parts. When it came time for my part, the final Comprehension Check, I was a little lost especially during the Question and Answer which was the hardest part of all to do I feel.

The observation made of being able to wing it naturally I think is a good one. There were two obviously good candidates out of the seven of us. I thought I did fairly well given that there was little direction and had no teaching experience (tried to involve the whole group, used gestures, smiled, used the prop) but JB or headquarters didn't like what they saw I guess. I was the only one out of the whole group of interviewees that he stopped and suggested doing something different. From there, I had a feeling that I had a poor showing. After the Question and Answer part, he admitted that our topic was harder than the other group's, and I asked how we could have taught it better, which he did give some good advice for.

THE TEST

After this, we did the questionnaire sheet and grammar test. The questionnaire sheet, as I can recall, asks: when is your 1) Ideal date to be in Japan, 2) Earliest date you want to be in Japan, and 3) Latest date you want to be in Japan.

From here, we had the remainder of time to do the test, while JB would come in and ask one of us to go into the interview with him while we were doing the test. Again, everyone on forums seem to dread the test, but I think they ought to dread the demo more or at least worry about them equally. It was indeed not an elementary test, but nothing someone with schooling in English and little studying can't overcome. Plus, you aren't on the spot as you are in the demo lesson.

The hardest portion for me was on the first parts, which were identifying the incorrect phrases in a sentence. There are up to perhaps five underlined phrases or words and you have to identify the incorrect one. It has been said that some sentences seem perfectly fine, but there is something wrong. This is true. Some where quite easy to spot, others so-so, still others nearly impossible (for me). I was only really stumped on maybe four or five of the questions however; the majority can be figured out as long as you read and write 'proper' English regularly. This part is where an English major would find the the easiest I believe. I'm not an English major, but I did minor in the subject (lazily).

The second portion of the test began with spelling I think. If you want to prepare for these 20 or so questions, just look at a site like About.com. If you type a search for 'misspelled words' in any old search engine, you'll find lists of 100-200 of pretty much any of the words that might be here.

Then it was vocabulary. Matching words to their meaning. I found this portion to be easy, so nothing sticks in my mind about it. It was about 10-20 questions I think.

Then it was the either the hardest or second hardest part for most people. This is where having a grammar book or looking at a site like Perdue's Owl helps immensely if you did not take a course in grammar in college (I did, and I brushed up before attending with my text book and Perdue's site since I took that course years ago). Here, you have a paragraph and underlinded words that you have to match to a corresponding technical grammar term. Because I studied these beforehand, and since you can deduce from elimination, I found it to be easy; much easier than the first part which I don't think you can really study for.

Finally, it was the teaching terms. This, I had very little idea about, but was able to figure them out just by reading the definition that you need to match the the word. Most you can just read and match it up through common sense. I was only unsure of two or three, but by process of elimination you can make educated guesses.

THE INTERVIEW

The individual interview was short. Some have said it's a breeze. All relative to the person. JB even has a timer on the table, which he asked me to ignore if it went off (it did so perhaps five minutes in). JB essentially looked over my questionnaire form and asked me to reiterate the start dates and why I put them down. Just try to practice for individual interviews beforehand for common questions. I paused a bit too long when is some places. He then asked if I had enough money for the startup costs, and where I would prefer to work (urban or less urban), and about my overseas experience; another point I think I probably came off wrong. It is probably not so bad that you don't have any overseas experience, but try and say something almost cookie cutter as to why you could work overseas. "In college, I had many international friends and so and so" perhaps. Overall, it wasn't the worst interview I've had, and questions you may expect at a regular interview weren't asked, but looking back, I see where I could have done better.

CONCLUSIONS

I got the feeling that by the individual interview, he has already decided 80% if you wants to hire you. The individual interview is mainly for headquarters and for him to reaffirm some things. The test, as someone on an older post stated, could be thrown out if he really finds something in you that would go over well. I don't know that for sure since I'm not privy to the inner workings, but from the impression I got, it seems true. I've also read of others getting hints that they would get an offer during the interview, so this re-enforces this notion.

As you may have inferred from reading, I didn't get an offer from ECC. In a curt way, they stated they were unable to offer me employment. For a week, I was between the hope of getting an offer and realizing that I wouldn't; leaning more to the latter which turned out to be the case. To their credit, they gave us a date a week from the interview session that they would contact us with their decision, and they did. In all aspects, they were professional and I would have loved to work for them. As you'll read elsewhere, it can be a crapshoot sometimes with getting employment. You'll never be totally sure why you did or did not get an offer. The trip, however, was not a total waste for me as I see it, since I got to visit my family in Toronto, enjoy beautiful weather, eat some great food, and take back things to revise upon when I land another interview, hopefully for a position in Japan.

This is most likely the longest post on ECC on Dave's. I hope it helps future interviewees for ECC Toronto. Thanks to those before me who have posted information on ECC here on Dave's also. If you are looking for more takes and information referenced here, seek those posts out using the search feature. If anyone has a question and I'm still around, post up and I'll try and answer from what I remember.


Last edited by Deep Thirteen on Thu Aug 13, 2009 11:00 pm; edited 2 times in total
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Ryu Hayabusa



Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 181

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 3:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow! Deep Thirteen, everything you wrote about the interview was true for me when I interviewed last year in Toronto.

Congrats on an excellent and thorough post!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Deep Thirteen



Joined: 23 May 2009
Posts: 39
Location: East Sea Japan

PostPosted: Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks Ryu. Your information helped me when I was applying.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
gonzarelli



Joined: 20 Jun 2007
Posts: 151
Location: trouble in the henhouse

PostPosted: Wed Aug 12, 2009 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had my interview with JB in Toronto nearly 8 years ago. Wow, he's still there. He was awesome and he really helped me out a lot. Sure hope he's still that way.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Begemot



Joined: 17 Jul 2009
Posts: 9
Location: Connecticut

PostPosted: Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just now noticed that more people responded...no, I didn't get the job. The grammar test was tricky, but I didn't find that too difficult and in fact finished it ahead of most of the other candidates--what I think disqualified me was that I was really nervous during the teaching demonstration and had to look back a couple of times to the lesson plan my team had formulated. I was also running on little sleep (thanks to driving for nine hours straight the day before and stupidly deciding to sleep at a noisy, un-air conditioned youth hostel to save money).

JB was very pleasant and professional, and I forgive him his oversight in not hiring me. Cool Toronto was great fun to visit anyway.

For those who have interviews with ECC: brush up on your grammar, rehearse your answers to the interview questions, read a bit about ESL lessons, and DON'T stay at Global Village Backpackers.

EDIT: Thanks all for the help!
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    Job Discussion Forums Forum Index -> Japan All times are GMT
Goto page 1, 2  Next
Page 1 of 2

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum


This page is maintained by the one and only Dave Sperling.
Contact Dave's ESL Cafe
Copyright © 2011 Dave Sperling. All Rights Reserved.

Powered by phpBB © 2001, 2002 phpBB Group

Road2Spain - TEFL and Spanish with one year student visa
EBC