Interview questions: what to ask about materials

Questions you can ask when regarding material when you first start working in a language school

Diary submitted by Christion W., Erasmus+ internship in Valencia

My first few weeks at Valencia language club weighed on me in a way that I could never have imagined. This was due to the fact that teaching material was given to me on the day, making the working environment faster than I had expected. I would ask teachers if could receive the materials for classes at least a day before teaching so I could have some preparation time but sometimes I was not allowed to. It´s not that the school was unorganised but the school had a system, and that system was a fast paced one. Teachers would usually prep for classes between breaks which is usually 15 minutes! In Despite of this, I had slowly gotten used to looking over the material as the weeks went by and found myself fitting in. 

I had so many questions to ask in the beginning. The most common question I would ask, especially for the exam material was “what happens if I don’t cover all the material of the exam in class”. The teachers who I had asked these questions said to me that I should at least get through half of the material. So, it was a not question of me understanding the material when I received it but it was how much do I need to cover in the lesson. For example, there is a grammar class known as ´Survival kit´ where there is so much material it would almost be impossible for to cover all of it in class. I was told that I need to at cover half of it and continue from where I left off in the next class, however this was quite difficult because the student turnover at this school is also quite random. Nearly every week there are new students and I would have to re-teach the grammar classes again but I found a knack overtime. I managed to come up with my own solution and do a ´quick revision´ at the beginning of the lesson to help new students at least capture the essence of what has been taught in previous grammar classes so they do not fall behind. That way I can still be able to cover at least half of the material in class and all students can benefit from learning new grammar rules as well as refresh their memories of what they have been taught.  

I have picked up a great by looking at materials in such a short space of time before classes and that is being able to think on my feet, think critically and use my own initiative.


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