Help me get one of these ESL positions!
October 14, 2013 5:08 AM   Subscribe

Right, calling all ESL teachers! Help this former teacher become a teacher again! I need your best 20 minute beginners English sample lesson plan and some resources I can use to brush up on my rusty grammar!

Hi Everyone! I recently moved to a new European country with my partner and jobs are hard to find here, but out of the blue I have suddenly I found myself in the position to attend 2 separate interviews for teaching English at 2 separate language schools, and I really want to put my best foot forward and hopefully find the right teaching job for me.

I am in my thirties, did a teaching degree in Secondary English and taught 2 years teaching EAL in an inner city school, and 2 additional years teaching at a difficult school in the UK- where I was an English Teacher/Literacy Coordinator. Other experience is that of a teaching assistant (short term 6 week contract) and as a Tutor...

Here are my limitations, and where I need your help:

- I have not taught in nearly 4 years. All of my example lesson plans are gone! So I need your help in identifying a nice 20 minute self contained lesson that I can instruct at my interview. It says that it needs to be at beginning English level. So do you know of any nice resources online? Or do you have any go-to sub lessons that might work for that? My timing is great, so if I get something nice and self contained I can whittle it down, or add to it as needed... but lessons designed to last 20 min to half an hour are best.

-My own knowledge of grammar is weak. When I was teaching I would always review the lessons beforehand so that I could teach them. In some ways this is a strength because I need to learn things several times before they make sense to me- and I can really help students learn difficult concepts because I've already had to break things down for myself and can explain things very very well in multiple ways if I see they aren't grasping it... but if someone is going to ask me in the interview how to explain "progressive past tense modal whatever" I am going to be super stumped.

So do you know any crash grammar resources I might be able to find and study to be prepared for those questions?

All of this stuff is buried in the resources of my brain- so once I have the right resources to review I should be good to go and I'm 100% confident it will all come back to me... but I only have a couple of days that I would rather spend prepping, instead of searching the net in vain.

My partner will be able to print some things out for me at work tomorrow... otherwise my resources will be a copy machine, a white board and a smartboard. (but I was never great with smartboards so if you suggest using it then perhaps you could spell it all out for me!)

Also, if you have any other ideas about how to get prepared for these interviews, please let me know!
posted by misspony to Work & Money (4 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I like this site for verb tense tutorials.

As for a demo lesson, one thing I used to do was have the students brainstorm different ways to say hello and goodbye, as well as variations on 'how are you?' and their responses. List these on the board. I would then have them practice this with a partner and then rotate / find a new partner after 2 minutes, making sure that they try a different way to say hello, goodbye, and how are you each time. This gets them up and speaking and is a good warmup activity. I don't know if it will fit the bill for you though as I don't know what the students will be like.

Hope that helps
posted by mukade at 6:39 AM on October 14, 2013 [1 favorite]

Is the interview tomorrow? I might be too late.

If it's urgent a search for "Penny-Ur-Grammar-Practice-Activities" in the usual places will get you something quick.

Practice the mechanics of something like this on your partner.
OTOH, 20 minutes is short. Did they specify grammar? If not, don't stress grammar too much. If they ask you to explain "progressive past tense modal whatever" in a model lesson, you don't want to work there.

In my experience giving and watching far too many model lessons, they want to see how you talk, good eye contact around the room, good use of the regular chalkboard or dry erase board for vocab etc. The basics. You've taught EAL, so you can do it.

Stay away from the Smart Board or Interactive White Board if you haven't used it much. If they really want a lot of IWB in classes, they will probably have some commercial content for it. Just be honest and say you haven't used it much but are willing to learn.

In Europe, CEFR is the thing. At least show a passing recognition/familiarity with the bands.
posted by Gotanda at 5:01 AM on October 15, 2013

Thanks you two! So this is what happened: Yesterday I went to the first interview and it was really laid back and I was offered the job right away- its freelance a few hours a week and had a really pleasant atmosphere.

Today was the interview at the second place and they did pretty much ask me to explain "progressive past tense modal whatever" in the model lesson and I knew by the time it was over that it wasn't the right place for me, and made me feel so appreciative of Flexible Laid Back Language School because I think I'll get my feet wet and do well there.

So all is well. Thank you so much!
posted by misspony at 5:11 AM on October 16, 2013

Right about now, I think I would love working at "Flexible Laid Back Language School". Congrats!
posted by Gotanda at 7:00 AM on October 16, 2013

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