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Thread: Preparing for the Mock Teaching Element of the Interview

  1. #1

    Default Preparing for the Mock Teaching Element of the Interview

    Hey everyone,

    With my interview coming up in about a week, I've been trying to prepare as much as possible. I've read up on some of the sample questions that are floating around the internet and those aren't too bad. The only part I'm worried about is the part where they tell you to teach them about a holiday, a grammar rule, or something of the sort. I've heard about people having to sing songs, teach about an aspect of their culture, or describe a lesson plan they would create for their class.

    I'm curious how other are preparing for this and perhaps the experiences former/current JETs have had with this part of the interview.

    Thanks!

    Mouri

  2. #2
    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preparing for the Mock Teaching Element of the Interview

    When I interview last year, I wasn't asked to do a mock lesson, but instead asked HOW I would teach something, as in what kinds of methods or resources I would use. I mentioned that with my ESL kids I use a variation of the Mexican game Lotteria (essentially bingo with pictures) where I translated the words from Spanish into English so as to help them learn vocabulary through audio/visual association. One of the panel members was a Japanese university professor and she LOVED the idea, going so far as to ask me if I had copy-written it, lol.

    I'm not sure if that helps or what will happen this year, but maybe prepare for something like that or questions along the lines of the "what 3 things would you bring to share you culture" question that pops up a lot.

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    Default Re: Preparing for the Mock Teaching Element of the Interview

    Ditto with Sam, I was asked HOW I would teach something at an international event with both elderly and young Japanese students. Basically, I said a lot of pictures and gestures.

    As for actual lesson prep... I actually didn't prep for it other than choose an Australian national holiday to teach about...

  4. #4

    Default Re: Preparing for the Mock Teaching Element of the Interview

    Thanks for the comments, guys!

    It's good to heat that you only had to explain how you would teach something. I know I could get different interviewers, but it's still reassuring.

    I have a TEFL certification as well as a lot of one-on-one tutoring experience, so I'll probably get hounded a bit on that. I've been trying to review and study so much over the past few days, I think it's doing more harm than good with stress.

    I'll just review some basic lesson plans and stop fretting. :P

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    Senior Member simplesam's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preparing for the Mock Teaching Element of the Interview

    Something else to keep in mind is that you may not be utilized very much as an ALT. A common question for those that have a decent amount of experience or have teaching degrees is "what would you do if you were asked to do nothing but start and stop the tape recorder in class?" or things very similar. Remember, being an ALT is being an assistant, first and foremost, and the panel may want to hear how you will handle that. That's a good thing to think about while prepping.

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    Member the4ork's Avatar
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    Default Re: Preparing for the Mock Teaching Element of the Interview

    I just had my interview today and I wasn't asked to do a mock interview, but how to conduct a class with a teacher who just decides to leave the classroom. I'm not a JET, current or past (but aspiring), but I've taught ESL/EFL classes. Something to keep in mind with doing a lecture is thinking about what the desired outcome of the lecture should be and, more importantly, how you will get there. Playing a game is all fun and games, but also consider your audience. If you are dealing with highschool students, you wouldn't want to necessarily do something that may be overly childish or lacking in quality of content. It also can't be too simplistic where students won't necessarily gain anything from what you are trying to teach.

    Teaching about a foreign holiday can be quite fun and practical. Ask students if they know about the holiday. If they don't, what do they think it is? If they're stumped, give some hints. Maybe draw some pictures and have them guess from there. Teaching should be, in essence, interactional, and should promote learners to use language. Try to not just give answers or give questions that result in yes/no answers. Try to draw lines and similarities between the holiday in question and maybe a similar holiday in Japan. That gives students something to attach to and relate to.
    I'd recommend reading up on Michael Long's Interaction Hypothesis and use that framework as a guideline for lesson ideas for your interview. But hey, that's just me ;-)

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