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AEON Interview
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Shiggy



Joined: 27 Jan 2004
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 8:58 pm    Post subject: AEON Interview Reply with quote

My interview with AEON is scheduled for Thursday, March 18th.

I would like to be fully prepared for the interview and was hoping a few of you, who have been through the interview process, could provide a detailed account of your experience(s).

Based on the directions I received from AEON (below), I am currently in the process of designing a lesson plan/presentation.

2. A written 30-minute lesson plan (two copies, to be submitted)
You will role-play a five-minute portion of your lesson with the group.

Please expect 1 ~ 8 other applicant(s) who will act as student(s). (Please note that, as in the classroom, we cannot predict how many attendees will actually be in attendance. Therefore, you may be asked to demonstrate a one-on-one lesson).

Teachers will have a whiteboard and markers available.

The lesson should be for beginner students of English. As you prepare, please decide if the lesson you are to teach will be for children or adults.

[OBJECTIVE]
To plan and teach your own EFL lesson focusing on conversation with a lot of interaction among students.

[Suggestions]
Conversational pattern practice exercises, interactive role-play situations, etc.
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Glenski



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

PostPosted: Sat Mar 13, 2010 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Based on what others have posted on this site and other sites over the years, I compiled the following and have you should have been able to find it in a search.

Interview experience 1 (April, 2003)
I was just hired by Aeon last week and I'm heading to Japan in a couple of months.

I found that the essay never once came up again during the 2 day interview process. Try to do a good job, but don't sweat it too much - make sure of your spelling and grammar though. Spellcheck isn't enough.

The interview process is two step. One group day and one individual day. For the group day I was one of 8 applicants. You'll have an info session and then be asked to teach a 5 minute lesson. You are expected to 'just go'. You can't be stopping to say: 'And now the students will do such and such' You can't stop the charade and ask questions. So just do it with as much confidence as possible.

On the second day you'll do another lesson, but this time, instead of applicants acting the role of students, the recruiters will. This is not as stressful as it sounds.

Remember that the recruiters are under pressure to find qualified candidates. I can't say for sure but I think the odds are stacked in the teachers' favor if you think of supply/demand at the present time.

Recruiters want:
Lack of immigration issues.
Lack of health issues.
COMMITMENT to do it for a year at least.
Some understanding of English grammar (there is a light quiz)
The ability to make small talk/be personable. -

I hope this helps. I researched a bunch of companies and interviewed for a few. I was offered employment by all of them and I chose Aeon because by all indications, they have the best official record, the best reputation and most importantly, the least disgruntled employees. Good luck. No need to be nervous. Let them know that you made an effort (such as by bringing teaching materials to your lesson) and that will go a long way.

Interview Experience 2 (March 2003)
My boyfriend just got a job with AEON, and I think he was hired because he showed that he was a 'people person' - He didn't have any teaching experience or TEFL qualifications or much knowledge about Japan, but he made sure that he showed an real interest in living in a different culture and learning about it whilst he was there.

When they asked him to do the on the spot lesson plan he messed it up but still got hired - because he didn't panic and admitted he had failings but expressed an eagerness to learn and become good at the job. He was friendly and open and I think that worked in his favour.

Interview experience 3 (March 2003)
I went through the lengthy interview process about 6 months ago.
Just go on the internet and pull up a lesson plan, maybe format it to the allotted time, level you choose, etc. Then, take 5 minutes of it and just practise it. Maybe make a handout or something. What's more important is to SMILE. Sad, but true. In my group of eight, I saw some truly sad performances and I'd bet they got a second interview. And I'm sure they understand if you're nervous. Plus, you don't necessarily have to teach them grammar -it can be another skill - speaking, for instance. so maybe type in your search engine - 'conversation lesson ESL' and see what comes up. Also, vocabulary lessons are very interesting.
Also, be prepared to write a short grammar quiz. They leave the room though, so you can cheat [though the stick in the muds I was with didn't talk].
But I'll warn you of something which caught me by surprise: at the second interview, they give you their textbook and five minutes to prepare a section to present to the interviewer. One of the only criticisms I got was that I wasn't smiling like an idiot [not their words].
Relax, have fun, and don't forget to SMILE!

Interview experience 4 (April, 2003)
If you would like a job in Japan, go for it. But choose a different avenue than AEON. Their two-day interview process is an adventure in tedium. The first day consists of an informational session during which they tell you what a wonderful company they are and what an honor it would be for you to work for them. "Experience Japan," they say, though they don't tell you how you're going to find the time to do that with their 36-hour-a-week work schedule. And of course, that's 36 hours a week wearing a little AEON pin: another warning sign that this is another purely financial endeavor that likes to use dedicated, intelligent people as stooges for their K-Mart version of language teaching. The second day consists of an additional ambush lesson you must give on a topic the interviewer will choose before you walk into the interview. The interviewer acts "like a Japanese student," trying to trip you up with obdurate questions and behavior. Never mind that they are engaging in the Mother of All Stereotypes. Questions from the interviewer will then consist of every question out of the blue you can imagine; "Well what do you think about working for a Japanese company?" A little bit difficult to answer since I've never worked for one before. "What other companies have you applied to?" Like that's any of their damn business! "Are you financially able to take on this experience," referring to the 1200 USD they recommend you bring with you to Japan to tide you over till the first check. Gee, I didn't know I needed to be rich in order to get a job! And of course, "Why do want to go to Japan," which I thought I had answered in their silly 1-page essay about WHY I WANT TO LIVE AND WORK IN JAPAN!!!!!! I guess they forgot what I had written! Another way they try to trip you up and find the slightest inconsistencies.
And all this for a job that pays 12-14 USD with outlets inside subway stations. Yes, "Experience Japan for 2 Minutes on a Pittance" ought to be their slogan. And in the end, they denied me while selecting an acquaintance with a lesser degree and no language-teaching experience. So if you don't care about wasting your time and money (especially if you're flying to an interview from a distant location), then go for it. But personally, I'd recommend searching Japan on your own and making arrangements individually, rather than relying on a snobby sweatshop to smooth out your journey to Japan.

Interview Experience 5 (January, 2005)
Iíve recently failed an AEON interview after giving a presentation. I was prepared, and I thought my presentation was OK at the time. People say that getting a job in eikaiwa is easy, but donít underestimate it.

Donít count on some small group, half of which are immediately disqualified due to not wearing a suit, not being prepared, or showing up late or with a hangover. In the session I went to, the room was packed. There must have been 40+ people. There were lots of people who flew in from out of town. Everyone was wearing a suit, well prepared, and seemed to be very hungry for the job. Iíd say it is certainly a buyerís market right now for AEON.

Looking back, I think my presentation was too complicated, boring, and I also spoke too much.

The more effective presentations seemed to be very simplistic. Also, there were people there that were going crazy with energy, enthusiasm, and goofiness. I would recommend smiling as much as possible, and you canít have too much energy and pep.

Also, Iíve heard the goal is to get your students comfortable and talking, rather than you just giving a lecture. A presentation that gets your students talking with each other is probably best.

I canít comment for the interview after the presentation stage, since I was cut after that point. Iíd say the most important thing you can do to prepare is practice giving your presentation to friends and family.
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Shiggy



Joined: 27 Jan 2004
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 12:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, thank you for conducting a search for me!

This sounds like something I might experience:

Interview Experience 2 (March 2003)
My boyfriend just got a job with AEON, and I think he was hired because he showed that he was a 'people person' - He didn't have any teaching experience or TEFL qualifications or much knowledge about Japan, but he made sure that he showed an real interest in living in a different culture and learning about it whilst he was there.

When they asked him to do the on the spot lesson plan he messed it up but still got hired - because he didn't panic and admitted he had failings but expressed an eagerness to learn and become good at the job. He was friendly and open and I think that worked in his favour.


I'll just try to do my best and hope I'm chosen.
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seklarwia



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

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 4:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It will likely take a bit more than a smile and friendly nature these days. That was 7 years ago, before the fall of NOVA, recession and the saturation of the ESL market with wannabe teachers.
It's an employers market so be prepared to experience a lot less positive outcomes such as in experience 4, but don't allow it to put a damper on your confidence.
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LaniB



Joined: 28 Jan 2010
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 6:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I attended a group interview exactly one week ago and got through to the personal interview so I think I can give good advice!

It doesn't matter what you decide to teach but make sure it's simple (flash cards for colours/ occupations/ items... they love pictures). Include a LOT of repetition and try to change the pace of the repetition and the amount (ie. "This is a ball" Repeat 3x - 1,2,3. "This is a ball" Repeat 3x FAST! You can turn it into a game, they repeat as fast as they can and put their hands on their heads when finished, be fair spread the winning out even if someone is obviously beating everyone else.

Smile HEAPS and try and make it as genuine as possible. I got a lot of praise for "genuine encouragement" of my fellow interviewees Razz That in mind, also praise everyone when they get it right, "Good English, [Name]"!! Use people's names a lot, that gets extra points.

Make sure your initial explanation is clear and in very basic English and TALK SLOWLY. I talked way too fast and rushed the explanation.

Wear a suit no matter how silly you feel - I almost talked myself out of it but wore it and was glad I did. All the guys were in suits and the other girls at least had a blazer jacket on. In the personal interview she said my clothes over the two days were very suitable for AEON.

Don't fret too much over the grammar test (Which you haven't mentioned Razz). It was difficult in the situation.. I am normally an excellent speller but in a timed situation it suddenly went out the window. On returning home it turned out I'd spelt everything correctly and done well on the comparison words (wonder vs wander, farther vs further, versus vs verses). One of the guys at the interview said he consistently fails the tests and always gets asked back to the personal interview so perhaps if your lesson is good enough (his was excellent), you still get the opportunity to have a personal interview.

Good luck and keep us updated on how you go!!
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Shiggy



Joined: 27 Jan 2004
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 7:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Crap. Now I have to rethink my lesson presentation! Haha.

I leave for Los Angeles on Tuesday, which doesn't give me very much time to find applicable materials.

I was planning on teaching about fruits and vegetables, likes and dislikes.

For example, "My favorite fruit are RED apples. My least favorite fruit are GREEN apples."

Something like that. Now that I think about it, the lesson may be too difficult.

Maybe I could use simple objects? Like, "This is a football. This is a soccer ball."

Hmm. Indecisiveness is frustrating.
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LaniB



Joined: 28 Jan 2010
Posts: 35

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

For teaching materials you can just buy a cheap ABC book and cut out the pictures. Or if you have basic drawing skills you could just draw fruit and vegies and colour them in with marker pens.

I don't think your idea sounds too difficult - a lady got through to the personal interview after doing a celebrity game and it was very wordy! It was a sheet with lots of different statements on it and "TRUE/FALSE" beside them, each pair got given a picture of a celebrity and had to pick which statements applied to them.

I did a simple "Guess Who" style game where they had to ask questions (yes or no answers) to find out which character their partner held.

Other ideas from our session: family members "grandma, dad, mum" and asking questions about each of those relatives, objects and repetition and colours.

One guy just stood up and talked the whole time, you could see everyone tuning out. He didn't make it to the personal interview.

Just remember to smile, praise, use the other interviewee's names and lots of repetition (she kept reiterating this) - and very important - 20% teacher talking/ 80% student talk.
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seklarwia



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

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's for beginners so how you are addressing both of your topics is too complex. For likes and dislikes, your sentence structures are too complex and you are actually trying to introduce two other topics at the same time; food and colours.

Keep it simply: I like apple. I don't like pear.

And you need to be careful: Japanese learners have a huge issue with plural endings and articles, so in absolute beginner classes you would try to avoid them.

So for simple vocabulary learning, your focus is to teach them only the target words so you should drop the "This is a...".
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Ryu Hayabusa



Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 182

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Keep it simply: I like apple. I don't like pear.

And you need to be careful: Japanese learners have a huge issue with plural endings and articles, so in absolute beginner classes you would try to avoid them.


Be careful. Are you really advising a teacher to teach English that's grammatically incorrect just because it may seem easier and more palatable to Japanese learners?
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Bread



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 318

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ryu Hayabusa wrote:

Be careful. Are you really advising a teacher to teach English that's grammatically incorrect just because it may seem easier and more palatable to Japanese learners?


To be fair, the original sentence:

"My favorite fruit are RED apples. My least favorite fruit are GREEN apples."

is grammatically incorrect as well!


Last edited by Bread on Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:55 am; edited 1 time in total
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seklarwia



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

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 8:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ryu Hayabusa wrote:
Quote:
Keep it simply: I like apple. I don't like pear.

And you need to be careful: Japanese learners have a huge issue with plural endings and articles, so in absolute beginner classes you would try to avoid them.


Be careful. Are you really advising a teacher to teach English that's grammatically incorrect just because it may seem easier and more palatable to Japanese learners?


Not quite. It's not always grammatically incorrect depending on what the question is. As a response to "What's your favourite icecream?" it's merely an ellipse whilst "I like strawberries." would be grammatically incorrect. And since they are submitting a full lesson plan, they can justify why they are teaching one thing now and getting into more complex grammar later. I'm just advising you introducing items in an order that is least confusing. I remember that is how I was taught when I learnt quite a variety of languages as an absolute beginner in schools across a variety of countries.
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Shiggy



Joined: 27 Jan 2004
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bread wrote:
Ryu Hayabusa wrote:

Be careful. Are you really advising a teacher to teach English that's grammatically incorrect just because it may seem easier and more palatable to Japanese learners?


To be fair, the original sentence:

"My favorite fruit are RED apples. My least favorite fruit are GREEN apples."

is grammatically incorrect as well!


It's not "My favorite FRUITS are red apples." and it's not "My favorite fruit IS red apples."

The way I said it seemed the most appropriate. What do you think?

*edit* I got it. Red apples are my favorite fruit.
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Bread



Joined: 24 May 2009
Posts: 318

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

edit: ^^ Yeah that order is way better.
Shiggy wrote:


It's not "My favorite FRUITS are red apples." and it's not "My favorite fruit IS red apples."

The way I said it seemed the most appropriate. What do you think?




The first one is fine. I guess if you really want to use fruit in the singular, the awkward "My favorite fruit is the red apple."

As an aside, I try to use the singular "fruit" around Japanese students as much as possible because hearing the katakana "fruits" as a singular all the time drives me nuts.
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Shiggy



Joined: 27 Jan 2004
Posts: 86

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bread wrote:
edit: ^^ Yeah that order is way better.
Shiggy wrote:


It's not "My favorite FRUITS are red apples." and it's not "My favorite fruit IS red apples."

The way I said it seemed the most appropriate. What do you think?




The first one is fine. I guess if you really want to use fruit in the singular, the awkward "My favorite fruit is the red apple."

As an aside, I try to use the singular "fruit" around Japanese students as much as possible because hearing the katakana "fruits" as a singular all the time drives me nuts.


Agreed.

After thinking a little more, I've decided to simplify the lesson even further. Rather than "likes" and "dislikes," I'll just do "red apple, yellow banana," etc. I'll either show pictures or bring flash cards.

I'd also like to play some sort of game, but I don't know how many people will be there.
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Ryu Hayabusa



Joined: 08 Jan 2008
Posts: 182

PostPosted: Sun Mar 14, 2010 10:50 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Not quite. It's not always grammatically incorrect depending on what the question is. As a response to "What's your favourite icecream?" it's merely an ellipse whilst "I like strawberries." would be grammatically incorrect. And since they are submitting a full lesson plan, they can justify why they are teaching one thing now and getting into more complex grammar later. I'm just advising you introducing items in an order that is least confusing. I remember that is how I was taught when I learnt quite a variety of languages as an absolute beginner in schools across a variety of countries.


"I like apple." would be okay in response to that kind of question. But, in the context of her lesson, "I like apple" would be grammatically incorrect. I am willing to wager dollars to donuts that the poster's lesson wasn't on responding to a question like that. I think the lesson was more along the lines of expressing general likes and dislikes.

That being said, I agree with you when you say to make the lesson simpler.
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