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AEON interview/lesson plan advice

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Joined: 19 Mar 2010
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:40 am    Post subject: AEON interview/lesson plan advice Reply with quote

Hi there guys/gals, and gurus. I am currently preparing for an interview with AEON this coming Monday, and while I've already formulated a rough draft of a lesson plan, I am not satisfied with it.

I've been poring over the multitude of posts on the forums here related to AEON interview experiences, so I feel I have a good perspective on what to expect. My instructions are more or less identical to what others have already written, and it to be targeted towards students that speak and understand English at a beginner level:

In an interactive and creative manner, teach a lesson focusing on English conversation. Suggestions: Pattern practice exercises, interactive role plays, etc.

Now I've come up with several ideas, but I find them all too simple for my liking. I've considered introducing common classroom requests such as "May I go to the bathroom?", or "May I go to the water fountain", etc., but I'm also worried about how to formulate something stimulating and exciting about asking to go the bathroom.

If anyone can give me some guidance, I'd really appreciate it! Thank you!

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Joined: 19 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 12:52 am    Post subject: More info. Reply with quote

first! But anyways, about some of my other ideas....

As my own memories of learning grammar are hidden from me, I was attempting to reverse-engineer a lesson from, ironically, what I experienced in my Japanese conversation classes. Here are some examples:

-Can I have that?

-Which one?

The red/blue/yellow/green one, etc.

The big/small/pretty one.

Here you go.

Thank you!

Demonstrate by asking, and pointing, to the object I want. They get it, give it to me, I say thank you.

What I'm struggling with is an absence of the classroom perspective. So an idea may seem good to me on paper, but in my head it does not seem so perfect after I think more about it. How will this operate when they are working in groups? Or is this just *too* basic as well?
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Joined: 27 Jan 2004
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 04, 2010 5:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Habid is pretty close.

I can vividly recall what the AEON "people" showed as examples, but it will be difficult to translate my memories.

First, one person simply showed an "action" picture of a man and woman (boy/girl). Beside the picture was a conversation. Something like:

Jon: Hello, Sarah, what seems to be the problem?

Sarah: Hi, Jon. I can't find my glasses.

Jon: Hmm, let's see. Are these your glasses?

Sarah: Yes! Thank you!

We were broken up into pairs and given our roles (Jon or Sarah). Then, we were told to use body and/or hand gestures to make the conversation more realistic. Then, we switched roles. Then, we actually switched partners.

Finally, we were told to be creative and substitute "glasses" for something else; I chose pants and hair (I'm bald).

After that, they would remove parts of the conversation and we had to repeat what we could remember or just do the best we could.

That was one example. They obviously want the students to do most of the talking. They said that it should be an 80/20 split, student to teacher participation.

Was that easy to understand? I remember another example, too.
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Joined: 19 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, that's great. Thanks for the insight! But I'd love to see what else you remember, too!
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 12:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Recruiter starts you off with a packet. Then asks everyone around the table to introduce themselves. There were 6 people in my group interview.

Next he will ask, "What do you know about AEON that you didn't see in our packet, or isn't already obvious."

After this begins a long explanation of AEON (several hour long powerpoint presentation), if you have questions you ask as they cover topics. Usually they cover almost all areas. At one point he shows of advertisements (in Japanese) and asks you if you can pick up the slogan in the message. It tended to be "Because of AEON I can do it!, learn English" Brownie points if you can point them out.

Everyone gets up and does an activity just like what was described above. The recruiter tries to give you hints like using your hands and using patterned phrases. "Hiding, hiding hiding!" (while using a hand to hide your face) Chewing, writing, you get the point.

More explanations, then a 15 minute break. This is also prep time for your lesson. The recruiter leaves a white board up and asks people to write in the order they want to go. Of course everyone wants to be first, no one wants to be last.

Once break time is over everyone gathers back again. Everyone takes their turn with their lesson, recruiter reads over your lesson notes while grading your performance. He will cut you off when he feels sufficient time is utilized (about 5 minutes). Here is a good chance to make people stand up and participate. Kind of hard to make the 80-20 (student-teacher) participation ratio. Good way to pull this off is just to instruct one student to do something then tell students to turn to a partner and do the same on their own, thus the students are doing all the work for you. Make sure to put some physical movement in there.

After all the lessons are done he hands out a grammar/spelling test. Spelling test covers various words like cucumber, accommodation, and some other commonly misspelled words. Grammar test can be easy or hard based on your knowledge. It is a write in test, not a multiple choice. Examples include, explain the difference between the superlative and the comparative forms. When and why would you use Past Perfect rather than Past tense.

After all that is complete he collects the test then you all wait for the results in a circle in the lobby. Here you have a "Bachelor" TV-like moment (winners getting their roses) where you are all gathered around and given letters but told not to read them. The letter basically tells you whether they want you back for a second interview (which would evaluate your personality), or if you are "not offered a position at this time."

I have no knowledge of the 2nd interview, I don't think anyone in my interview group was invited back.

Best of luck, don't forget to smile. This interview took place in Los Angeles, August '09.
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Joined: 30 Mar 2010
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 1:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@Rakis, why dont you think you were asked for a second interview? Just curious, thanks.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 2:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

They didn't say "this was the reason we didn't pick you," but I figure it was a mixture of being unprepared for the grammar test, having a half-assed lesson and making an odd entrance (I was going to drop off my luggage with a friend but never connected with him, so I brought it with me haha).

It was actually my first interview in a long time, I figured I was a bit rusty anyway.
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 05, 2010 3:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

My interview was in Los Angeles last week.

I KNOW I wasn't invited back because of my sh*tty lesson presentation. However, they may not have liked the fact that I'm bald, either. Racist, *beep*. Just kidding.

The point is, nobody has any real inclination why they were declined a second interview.

The second lesson example they provided is similar to what as been mentioned.

One of the AEON guys showed us three "action" pictures: a person hiding, a person washing, and a person baking.

First, in unison, we would repeat what the teacher said, like, "Hiding, 1, 2, 3..." and then we'd repeat.

Second, he had us all stand up. Then, he had us repeat the word three times, and it seems to me that we said the words faster.

After that, we would act out or use body motions while saying the words. For instance, we would cover our face every time we said "Hiding." Still three times...

Then, he put the pictures on the table and we gathered around them. He would say "HIDING!" and we were expected to make an attempt to be the first person to touch the picture that said "Hiding." This continued for a few seconds.

After that, he had us put our hands on our shoulders and would repeat the same game/exercise: we had to touch the picture he specified as quickly as possible.

Finally, we would look away while he turned over one of the pictures. We we turned back and were expected to name the picture or action word that was hidden or turned over.

Simple, simple stuff, but somebody like me, who doesn't have a lot of teaching experience, would ever consider something like this. Not to mention the fact that their teaching methods and expectations differ from those in the United States.

Anyway. Just remember to get up there and be confident. After sitting through 2hrs of the interview, my brain was starting to get mushy and then I was expected to give my lesson presentation. I sufficiently bungled the ordeal, but that's okay. I didn't want to work for them, anyway.

Good luck!
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rakis, Shiggy, thanks a bunch. I thought my demo was awful today, but I managed to do well enough in everything else to be invited back tomorrow for a personal interview. Your insight was super helpful to me!

I'm slightly dreading tomorrow based on how uncomfortable I felt doing the demo, but I'm not going to let it discourage me. Thanks so much, again!
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Best of luck tomorrow! Copy pasta from Glenski on the 2nd interview. Also google "Aeon Second interview" for more links.

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.
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