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Aim:

...to help English teacher applicants to succeed in passing the English Teacher's Interview-style Oral Exam.  [How to prepared for an interview].

Objective:

...to help teaching candidates in Korea prepare for their interview exam.

Content:

Firstly, one should be aware that there are "styles" of and "registers" of speaking.

The styles include:  informative, persuasive, narrative, and artistic.

 

The registers include: formal & informal; technical & non-technical; and academic & non-academic.

Important!  The English Interview Exam is a formal situation, therefore formal register should be used.

In formal register, no slang is used.  Idioms are to be used only when no other form is known to express the same idea.  Therefore, idiomatic expressions should be kept to a minimum.  Idioms include phrasal verbs.

Some "rules" for formal register:

1.  As mentioned above, do not use slang & avoid idioms as much as possible.

2.  Avoid linguistic slurs, such as:  wanna & gonna.

3.  Never say, "You".  Instead, use "One".

          X--non-example:  You should teach well.
          O--bona fide example:  One should teach well.

4.  Speak slowly & fluently.  [Some people seem to think that those words ("slowly" & "fluently") are opposites.  They are not.  "Fluently" means "flowing", "non-stop", like a river flows.  Think of the Hahn Gahng (i.e., Han Gang).  It is fluent & slow.  A mighty speaker (like a mighty river) does not speak quickly, because the audience needs time to process his/her speech.

 

Some other suggestions for interviewees:

1.  The style of your answer will depend on the style of question.  Some questions elicit information, and therefore the style will be informative.  Some questions ask for anecdotes, and therefore the style will be narrative.  Some questions ask for opinions, and therefore your style will be persuasive.

2.  Act like a professional.  Body language is important in an interview.  It is not proper to use your hands when you speak in an interview.  For teaching, it is fine, but teaching students is an entirely different register.  Sit up straight.  If your interviewer is a native English speaker, then you should look at your interviewer's face when you speak.  In native-English-speaking culture, to look away signifies possible dishonesty.  If you want to appear honest, you should look directly at your interviewer during the interview.

3.  If you cannot hear and comprehend the interviewer's words, politely ask the interviewer to repeat.  [Key word here is "ask"].  For example, "Could you repeat the question please?"

4.  If you hear the question and yet there is some vocabulary that you do not understand, ask the interview to explain the meaning of the word or words that you do not understand.

 

Best wishes!

If you have any questions for me, you may contact me.

Sincerely,

(I, Leon, used to teach Interview Preparation class at Haeng Jeong Goshi Hagweon in Noryangjin, Seoul, Korea for six years).

 


 

Sample Questions and Answers

All Content Here Written by Leon

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2002 Questions & Sample Answers: Seoul

1. Who is the teacher that you have respected most in your life (from your middle school or high school experience)? And Why?

A: The teacher that I have respected most was my Geometry teacher in tenth grade. He was enthusiastic about his subject. He made us students excited about the subject. He had a good sense of humor. It seemed that all the students really respected him. I made up my mind in his classroom to be a teacher just like him, if I could.

2. What can a teacher do in order to be a successful teacher? (Name at least three things)

A: First of all, let me say that if one wants to become a teacher, he or she really should want to be a successful teacher. I want to be a successful teacher, with all my heart. Second of all, it is important to define "success in teaching". Success means different things to different teachers. In my case, success means doing one's best to educate the students. In order to do this, a teacher can do three things: (1) care about ALL the students, (2) show the students that they are cared about, and (3) prepare lessons well. Let me talk about the last one. I believe that preparing lessons well includes making them as exciting as possible. I want my students to like English, not hate it. If the lessons are exciting, the students will like English; and if they like English, they will try harder to learn it. Yeah... Also, a truly successful teacher tries to make students like learning.

3. Nowadays, destruction of the ozone layer is a big issue. Tell me about the cause and effect of it.

A: Wow! That's a very serious question. Honestly, I know only a little about this subject, because I am not a meteorologist. As I know, pollution is causing the depletion of the ozone layer. And, as I know this could cause global warming. Global warming will cause the polar ice to melt and the seas will rise. People will lose their property and their homes. I remember seeing a movie entitled, "Water World". In that movie, this precise thing had happened, and people lived on the sea.

4. These days, students don't respect their teachers as much as in the past. What do you think of this situation?

A: In my generation, we respected our teachers. Yet, I have heard about the disrespect that students have nowadays. It saddens me. I believe that it is the fault of the parents. If a child disrespects his/her teacher, his/her parents may not respect public school teachers. Of course, I will talk with the parents of my disrespectful students and try to find a solution. But, if the disrespectful behavior continues after that, it is obvious that the parents of the child just don't care. Then, it becomes my burden to EARN the respect of that student. I will do my best to gain his/her respect. That's all I can do.

5. Correct the sentence on the board, please.

 

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2002 Questions & Sample Answers: Gyeong-gi

1. Whom do you respect most and why?

A: I respect my god most. I respect my god because of the way I feel when I worship him or her. I also respect my god, because of the awesome power that he/she has. I am nothing compared to him/her. It is a healthy respect, I think. I also respect all persons in authority over me. I will respect my principal and senior teachers in my school. I believe that as a Rookie teacher, I have a lot to learn from them, for they have much more experience than I.

2. Tell me about your family.

A: I have two families. One family is composed of a mother, a father, three younger brothers and two younger sisters. Yes, I am the oldest child. As such, I have learned to be responsible and dependable. My second family is composed of myself and my son. Yes, I am divorced. My son's mother abandoned us. I am not ashamed to admit it, because I did nothing wrong. My son is three by Korean age, two by Western age. He is the apple of my eye. He is learning to speak both Korean and English. I am teaching him both.

3. If you were granted three wishes, what would you wish for?

A: I would wish for peace in this god-forsaken world. When I watch or read the news each day, I am dismayed at the senseless violence in this world. I wish we humans could all just get along peacefully. Secondly, I would wish for the absence of poverty. When I walk down the street, it saddens me to see people begging for money. I give what I can, but it isn't much. Thirdly, I would wish for my son to have a new mommy. He needs a woman's touch in his life. I can see the pain in his eyes, regarding his mother's absence.

4. What is your favorite movie? And please tell me about it.

A: My favorite movie is probably "The Princess Bride". It is a fictional account of true love, lost and regained. A young man and a young woman fall in love. But, the young man is a pauper. So, he goes off to seek his fortune in order to seek his true love's hand in marriage. It has all the components of a truly great movie. There is sword fighting, hand-to-hand combat, a battle of the wits, dangers, adventure, romance, and best of all: a happy ending. I love that movie. I have watched it a hundred times. I never get tired of watching it.

5. Which was the happiest day of your life?

A: Oh, that is easy. The happiest day of my life is each and everyday that I spend with my son. As I told you, he is the apple of my eye. I can't imagine life without him. He is the first person I see in the morning and that last person I see at night. I was going to say, "The day my son was born," but it wouldn't be true. Because, each new day brings an added joy and compounds that joy a hundred fold. Well, except, of course when he drives me crazy... he is in the "terrible two's" stage of his life. He seems to get some kind of pleasure out of doing the opposite of everything I tell him to do. So, he is as the Koreans say, "A tree frog".

6. If students don't listen to you, what will you do?

A: If students don't listen to me, I will immediately stop and demand their attention. I mean I am there to educate and they are there to be educated by me. If I allow them to sleep or talk during the lesson, then I would not be doing my job, now would I? If students persist in not listening to me, they will be punished. Punishment will depend upon how many times I have had to punish them in the past. Punishment will get worse and worse each time. Furthermore, not listening is rude. A teacher is not only to teach subject matter, but manners as well. Students need to learn proper manners.

7. If students cannot hear you, what will you do?

A: If students cannot hear me, it is most likely because they are sitting in the back of the classroom. I will of course suggest that they move up to the front, but if they refuse, I will endeavor to speak up. AND, I will move about the classroom during my lectures. This will give all students the chance to hear me equally well.

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2002 Questions & Sample Answers: Incheon

1. What is the general aim of a middle school English teacher?

A: The general aim of a middle school English teacher is three-fold. The aim is (1) to make students gain basic knowledge of English, (2) to make students enjoy English, (3) to make students self-learners of English. I accept the challenge fully. I love English, and hope to share my love of English with the students.

2. How can you overcome the difficulties of TETE (Teaching English Through English)?

A: This is an important issue in Korea nowadays, for as I know there is a trend for Korean schools to use the TETE approach. I am glad you asked me this question, because I have thought about it a lot. I have come to the conclusion that using the Silent Way Method will be quite exciting and effective. Students will be curious to understand what I am saying to them. Their natural curiosity will motivate them to study harder. Besides, studies have shown (and experience has shown me) that the Grammar-Translation Method has little effect in helping students acquire the audio-lingual aspects of a foreign language, which are so important in the 21st century. Students need to hear the language as much as possible. The only difficulty will be keeping the students from falling asleep. That can be solved by minimizing my lecture time and maximizing student practice time.

Educational Nomenclature Q & A

Q: Between the process-oriented / learner-centered philosophy and the product-oriented / curriculum-centered philosophy, which one do you subscribe to?

A: I subscribe to process-oriented or student-centered education. In the ideal learning situation, the teacher helps each student individually at the students level. In this way the teacher can help individual students to realize what they must do to improve. Also, teachers can inspire students better when they have close, personal experiences with them. Too often in modern classrooms students have almost no contact with the teacher. In student-centered education, teachers should strive to have as much contact with individual students as is possible, so I prefer this philosophy.

Q: Which is better "Bottom-Up" (Deductive) Learning or "Top-Down" (Inductive / Holistic) Learning?

A: In my opinion, the most natural way to learn a language is to follow the "Bottom-Up" or Deductive approach. Beginning with phonics, vocabulary and grammar provides a good foundation for students to build upon. These three basic, yet, essential areas provide students with the necessary skills for them to become active participants in the process. With out these essential skills they are handicapped and dependant. For these reasons, I prefer the "Bottom-Up" approach for teaching a language.

Q: Which theory of language do you agree with?

A: I hold to the view that education requires various approaches and theories to effectively teach students. The structural view is useful for beginning learners of a foreign language. It helps students to compare what they presently know, from their own language, to the target language, which they are trying to learn. The functional view is a useful concept for those who are at higher levels in language learning. These students must focus more on abstractions in the language, which are much more difficult for beginning level students to understand. The interactional view focuses much more on the community of language users. It may be used successfully in teaching intermediate level students to expand their second language usage. It focuses on interpersonal interaction and can help students to push the barriers of their second language expressions to higher more meaningful social transactions. It is important that teachers remember that at different periods of the students' development, appropriate models are needed, which will help the students to progress to higher levels of language use.

Q: Which theory of language learning do you prefer?

A: Of the various theories of language learning, I prefer the Theory of Transformational Grammar, by Noam Chomsky. In his view of language learning, humans are born with an innate mental ability to put language together in meaningful ways. We call that ability encoding and decoding language. From my experience with children, it appears that children have an instinctive ability to recognize language and its fundamental usage. With this innate ability they are able to build more complex structures through the process of deduction. Adults have moved from lower levels, to much higher levels of language abstraction. Thus, adults have become dependant upon their experience to process meaning instead of their innate language sense that they were born with. However, if adults were to return to a pre-knowledge state, they would be able to regain, very quickly, through their innate cognitive-code learning skills a new language much more easily.

Q: Which General Pedagogical Technique (method) do you favor?

A: In my opinion, students cannot learn a second language through one procedure. Since language is a complex system, which allows complex interactions between humans, it makes sense that the process of learning a language is somewhat complex and very dynamic. For these reasons, it is important for teachers of a second language to be familiar with a variety of teaching procedures. Not any one technique can be held up as being far superior to any other technique. Using a combination of various techniques and activities, however, may arguably be the most effective way of teaching languages.

Q: What is your take on Classroom management / Discipline?

A1: Because children are all so different, it is my opinion that not one discipline strategy can be successfully employed all the time. Unfortunately, teachers sometimes have a favorite method for disciplining, such as beating their students silly, or kicking them out of class. However, just as a teacher should use a variety of teaching methods, they should also apply various methods of discipline depending on the situation and the character of the student being disciplined. One student might effectively be disciplined by having a private conversation with him or her, whereas another student may need to have some privileges taken away. Finding a suitable method is one of the responsibilities a teacher has to deal with in their profession.

A2: I think that creativity is the most important thing to successful classroom management. Creativity takes time and effort, so it is important for the teacher to take time each day to consider what activities will be held and what method will best work to manage the class with that activity. Sometimes, rewards work well for activities that are competitive. Other activities may simply require verbal praise or written praise. In any case, it is essential for teachers to consider carefully what the learning objective is and which strategy will work best to manage the students while performing that learning activity.

Q: What is your position on Corporal Punishment in the public schools?

A: In America teachers are not allowed to touch students. However, it wasn't always that way. It use to be when a student got out of line in class the teacher gave that student a swat on the hands using a wooden stick. That has all changed nowadays, but perhaps that change is unfortunate. Students are less respectful of adults than they were fifty years ago. Also, juvenile delinquency is a rising problem in the United States. I believe that part of this is a result of not showing a stronger form of discipline in their public education system and at home. So, I think that wise use of corporal punishment is necessary and acceptable.

Q: Should games be a part of foreign language education? And Why?

A: Games are great ways to assess the progress of the students. In my opinion, good language educational games have the following criteria:

1. Be Fun: Language educational games should be fun.

2. Involve All: Lang. Ed. games should involve all of the students simultaneously, not just one person at a time.

3. Be Slightly Competitive: Lang. Ed. games should not be overly competitive, because sometimes some students are turned off to English if the game is too competitive.

4. Be Content-related: Lang. Ed. games should cover the content learned in class that day or on a previous day.

5. Be Challenging: Lang. Ed. games should be slightly challenging, because if they are too easy, the students might lose interest in the game.

6. Be Oral-based: Lang. Ed. games should involve oral communication as much as possible.

7. Use Target Language: Lang. Ed. games should give participants an opportunity to use the target language without embarrassment from making mistakes. We want accuracy, but students ought to feel comfortable in making a few mistakes.

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Teaching Questions: Teaching Methods & Philosophies

1. How would you describe your teaching style?

I would describe my teaching style as strict and comfortable. I believe in having rules and strictly enforcing those rules. I believe that strict adherence to rules is necessary to permit learning. But on the other hand, my teaching style is comfortable. I try to make the atmosphere in my classroom comfortable. That is, I let the students know that it's Okay to make mistakes. I want them to talk without fear of making mistakes. So, in short, my teaching style is strict AND comfortable.

2. Please elaborate on the kinds of resources you'll use in your classroom.

I will use various resources. One resource that I will use is multi-media, such as newspapers, magazines, audio, and video. The second resource that I will use is Native speakers of English. As much as possible, I will invite Native speakers to come and give presentations in my classroom. If that is impossible, I will use cassettes of native speaker voices. The third resource that I will use is the students. Sometimes, students can be great resources, especially ones who may have studied abroad, or who may have studied in private institutes and are quite advanced in ability. Lastly, I will use veteran teachers as a resource. They may have a lot of great ideas for teaching.

3. Explain how you'll use music in your classroom.

I will use music as much as possible in my classroom. I believe that music is very useful to help children remember what they've learned. Since I don't sing well, and I don't play a musical instrument, I will play various cassettes with English songs and make the students follow the cassettes.

4. In what way do you intend to elicit oral fluency in your classroom?

I will elicit oral fluency in various ways. One way is by one-to-one interaction with myself. Another way is by pairing the students up and making them memorize little dialogues. Another way is by making the students memorize lines for a play, and perform the play for parents or other students. Another way is putting the students into cooperative learning groups and giving them a task to perform, such as 'information gap' task or 'information transfer' task.

5. What percentage of English vs. Korean will you use in the classroom? Why?

I think that Teaching English Through English (TETE) is good, but probably not the most efficient way to learn a language. Therefore, I will use the mother tongue of the children in order to explain more abstract concepts. I will never use the mother tongue to explain concrete objects. Therefore, I will use about fifty percent Korean, and fifty percent English in my classroom.

6. Tell me about your philosophy of education. (What's your theory?)

I teach as I would want to be taught. I put myself in the shoes of my students and try to identify with the weaknesses and frustrations that they have. I believe in a holistic (data-driven) approach of teaching, with copious amounts of 'consciousness raising'. My eclectic methods seem to be well received by my students. I believe that language has structural, functional, and interactional aspects. I believe in ESP (English for Specific Purposes), but if a student wishes to interact with native English speakers, pragmatic competence is just as important as linguistic competence.

7. Choose your favorite teaching technique, and describe how you will use it.

My favorite teaching technique is one that I invented. It's called "competitive cooperative learning method." It works like this....(bla, bla, bla). I also like making my students memorize dialogues. In my opinion, students will benefit more from memorizing sentences than from memorizing words.

8. What special talents do you have to offer as a teacher?

I have several special talents to offer as a teacher. The first is my artistic talent. I can draw and paint well. I can even draw funny cartoons. I can use this talent to make the learning of English fun and exciting for my students. My other great talent is my talent to feel the moods of my students and their reactions to my lesson. This is helpful, because I can adjust my lessons accordingly. A teacher is not a machine, and should not act like one. A teacher must take into consideration the 'affective domain' of the classroom. This is my talent.

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Teaching Questions: Classroom Management

Note: The term "classroom management" means controlling the behavior of the students in one's classroom.

1. What techniques will you use to manage your classroom?

I will manage my classroom with a healthy combination of punishments for bad behavior, and rewards for good behavior. For example, (see answer for number 3)....

2. What controls (rules) do you think are necessary in the classroom?

I think the following rules are necessary in the classroom:

One: No talking when the teacher is talking.

Two: No hitting. (including, NO DDONG CHIM!)

Three: No throwing ANYTHING.

Four: No getting out of one's seat without permission from the teacher.

Five: No eating or chewing in class.

3. How will you maintain (enforce) these rules?

I will maintain the rules by a system of punishments and rewards. If a student breaks a rule, I will write his/her name on the board as a warning. If the same student breaks a rule again, I will put a check by his/her name. That means 5 min. of detention, which may be served during recess, or lunch, or after school. Every check is another 5 min. If a student behaves extraordinarily well I will reward the student with five minutes of computer play time.

Teaching Questions: Motivation/Participation/Performance

1. What are you going to do to elicit student participation in class oral activities?

I'm going to make oral participation part of the students' grades... maybe about thirty percent of their grade. But I'm not a mean teacher. I will try to make the environment comfortable for the students. I will tell them that it is Okay to make mistakes. I won't punish them for making mistakes. But I will dock their grades for not trying.

2. How will you deal with overly shy (timid) students?

If a student is overly shy, I will take the student aside and tutor him/her individually. That way the student will know the answers before I ask the questions and he/she will feel confident.

3. How will you motivate students who simply hate English?

I will try to show them that English is important to their future. If they are too young or too immature to see the long term benefits of English, I will have to create some short term benefits, such as using some popular rap songs with English lyrics, or using some popular computer games which have English expressions in them. Also, I will use videos, which don't have Korean subtitles. This will induce their natural desires to make sense of the world.

4. What is your opinion on extrinsic and intrinsic motivation in teaching?

I think that students don't have much intrinsic motivation when it comes to structured classroom study. I will use verbal and non-verbal praise. I will use physical rewards sparingly. But I will reduce the frequency of physical rewards over time. Hopefully, this will make the extrinsic motivation turn into intrinsic motivation.

5. How will you go about handling poor academic performance?

I feel that poor academic performance needs to be handled immediately, before it becomes a big problem. I will notify the parents immediately of student failure. I believe that the parents have a right to know. Also, I will encourage the parents to take an active role in the student's education. I will have the parents check the child's homework every night.

6. What is the best way to evaluate (assess) a student's performance?

If we're talking about speaking performance, then the best way is by oral exam. If we're talking about listening performance, then the best way is by a kind of TPR test. For example, I would give the students a blank piece of paper. I will command them to draw pictorial representations of my English sentences.

7. If you finish the lesson early, what will you do?

I think that it is an important issue in education. So much valuable time is wasted. I will use "empty time" well. I will let the students do any of various English activities, such as: reading an English comic books, playing English board games, doing English crossword puzzles, and so on.

8. What will you do with students who finish assignment fast?

See 7?

9. As the teacher, where do you draw the line between good noise and bad noise?

I think good noise is speaking English. I think that bad noise is speaking Korean. As long as my students are speaking English, I'll be happy. That's where I draw the line.

10. Are you afraid of 30 or 40 school children, some of whom might be as big or bigger than you are? If yes, what will you do about your fear? If no, why not?

Honestly, yes, I'm a little afraid. I mean, if two big boys fight in the class, what will I do? What if a child never listens to me? What if a child gets injured? I will be responsible for the lives of all my students. The school is their home away from home. I will be like their parent. It is an awesome responsibility. However, even though I will be afraid, I will not show it. I will act brave. There is an old saying, "Act like the lion, become the lion."

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Personal Questions

1. Please describe your personality (to me).

a. What is your personality like?

b. If you could sum up your character in one word, what would it be? Why?

A: I would sum up my character as "perfectionist". I like everything to be perfect. I like my lessons to be perfect, my students to be perfect, and my classroom environment to be perfect. I know that things aren't and verily cannot be perfect all the time, but that is my aim. Once I heard a proverb, which says, "Aim for the stars, and you may hit the ceiling; but, aim for the ceiling and you might never leave the ground." I figure that by aiming for perfection, I will help the students hit the ceiling at least. It's better than being a mediocre teacher and helping the students stay on the ground.

2. What strengths do you have?

a. Which strengths do you posses?

b. What would you consider to be your strong points?

A: My strong points are my determination and my work ethic. I am determined to be the best teacher I can be. I am determined to help my students be the best students they can be. And, I am determined to make a difference in this world for the better. Furthermore, my work ethic is good. I believe in working over time, if I have to, in order to prepare excellent lesson and tutor troubled students. In summary, my strong points are my determination and my excellent work ethic.

3. What weaknesses do you have? / What is your major weakness?

a. In which area(s) could you most improve (as a person)?

b. Which weaknesses do you possess?

A: I have only one weakness. It is that I am slow in my work. But, the reason that I am slow in my work, is because I am a perfectionist. I like to prepare my lessons perfectly. I want to be the perfect teacher. That takes time, but it is worth it. My students are worth it. I think it is a good weakness.

4. Why would you make a good teacher?

a. What special skills (or abilities, talents) do you have?

b. What do you have to offer, by way of skills, abilities, and special talents?

A: I would make a good teacher because I am determined to be a good teacher. I don't believe in cutting corners. I believe that any job worth doing, is worth doing right. Moreover, I am dedicated to my students. I want my students to enjoy English and to succeed at English.

5. Where do you see yourself in ten years?

a. What are your plans ten years down the road?

A: Ten years from now, I expect to be a Master's degree in English Education, and the head of my school's English department. I will be involved in KATE (Korean Association of Teachers of English) and KOTESOL (Korean Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages). Lastly, I hope to author some books about English Education in Korea.

6. Who(m) do you respect most (from the past)? Why?

a. Who is your hero / idol (from the past)? Why?

b. Of all the people in history, who(m) do you look up to most?

A: I respect John Dewey. He was an amazing educator. I read his book: "Democracy in Education." It is a classic. His ideas about educating children are truly inspiring. But, he is not the person I MOST respect. Perhaps the person I most respect is Jean Piaget. His studies helped him to form theories, which are truly ingenious. His 'schema theory' is so helpful to all pedagogues. I plan to apply the principles he has taught to my English lessons. Yes, Piaget is the person I most respect from the past.

7. Tell me a little bit about yourself.

[Formula for answering this question:

a. talk about your birth place

b. talk about where you grew up

c. talk about your family

d. talk about your university and major

e. talk about your hobbies

8. What is your main ambition in life?

a. What do you want to make of yourself?

b. What are your goals in life?

A: My main ambition is life is to be happy. That includes being happy in my profession and being happy in my personal life. I believe that being a teacher will be a rewarding profession for me. I enjoy teaching very much. Also, I feel an affinity to the younger generations of Koreans. In my personal life, I aspire to getting married and having a family of my own some day. Being a teacher will allow me to achieve both my career ambitions and my personal ambitions.

9. Who is the most important person in your life (living)?

a. Who (living) is your hero? Why?

b. Who do you look up to the most? Why?

A: I look up to all the orphans and handicapped people in the world. Their lives are really tough. And yet, most of them seem to be successful. They overcome great obstacles in life. We "normal" people cannot imagine how tough it is for them. We think our lives are hard. But, theirs are so much more difficult. My hat is off to all the orphans and handicapped people in the world, especially in Korea.

10. If you could be anything for a day, what would you be?

A: If I could be anything for a day, I would be a bird. It doesn't really matter what kind of bird, as long as it can fly. I want to feel the wind on my cheeks and my wings. I want to experience the freedom that birds have. And then, I would fly over my personal enemies, and drop something on them. Oh, no... better yet... I would be a flying elephant. Then, I would fly over my personal enemies and drop something on them.

11. If you had a million dollars, what would you do with it?

A: If I had a million dollars, I wouldn't be here. I would be relaxing on a warm beach somewhere in the southern hemisphere. Australia sounds nice. I hear they have nice beaches in Australia. Then, after a long vacation, I would open my own academy to teach English. I really enjoy teaching, and I like English. So, it is the natural thing to do.

12. If you knew this was your last day on earth, what would you do?

A: If I knew that this was my last day on earth, I would say "Goodbye" to all my loved-ones, and make a moment, so that the world would know that I was here. I would give all my money to charity. Well, not all of it. I would keep enough for a buffet dinner at a hotel. I would invite the apple of my eye to eat with me at the hotel. It would be our last supper together.

13. If you had the power to change anything in your life, what would you change?

A: If I had the power to change anything in my life, I would change my marital status. I am single. I wish I were married to a wonderful spouse. If possible, I would get married today, if I knew I could trust that person to love and cherish me until I die.

14. If you could do magic, what would you change and why?

A: If I could do magic, I would cast a spell on you and make you give me a perfect score on this interview. Also, I would reunify North and South Korea. Reunification would solve so many problems. For one thing, we wouldn't need the U.S. military here anymore. For another thing, we wouldn't have to live in fear anymore.

15. If you were the last person on earth, what would you do?

A: If I were the last person on earth, I would try to make a robot to keep me company. I would live in one of those "penthouse suites". I would find the SETI LAB and send a message into outer space saying, "Come and rescue me, Please!" And in the meantime, while I'm waiting for aliens to come and rescue me, I would read every single book on the whole planet, until I died.

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Situational Questions

1a. What would you do if you should receive a monetary "gift" of money from one of your student's parents with a note requesting extra attention for their child?

Well, as you know, it would be illegal for me to receive monetary or expensive gifts from my students or their parents. So, I will give the money and note to my principal and ask for his/her advice on how to deal with the situation. Also, I would tell the parents of the student not to worry, because I will give all my students equal attention. I think the parents will appreciate my honesty and candor.

1b. Imagine for a moment that you receive a monetary gift from one of your student's parents and a request for special attention. What would you do?

1c. Suppose that one of your student's parents shows up with a monetary gift and requests some special attention for their child. How would you handle such a situation?

2a. Let's say that one of your students has studied abroad and speaks English better than you do? And he complains that your English is terrible? What would you do?

Well, first of all, it depends on whether the student complained in front of the class or in private. If the student complained in front of the whole class, he/she would be rude, and would need to be taught some manners. If the student complained in private, I would ask the student for some suggestions about what I should do. Perhaps the student would be willing to be my "pronunciation assistant". Also, I would do my best to improve my pronunciation and intonation by listening to native speakers' on tape or TV as much as possible.

2b. Suppose that one of your students has studied in America, and speaks English really well. And suppose that this student complains that your class is too easy for him/her. How would you deal with such a student?

2c. What would you do if one of your students has studied in a foreign country, and speaks English very well, so well in fact that your lessons are much too easy for him/her?

3a. If you should encounter a difference of opinion with the administration about teaching style (method), how would you resolve the problem?

3b. Imagine that you are trying a new method of teaching, which seems to working very well. But your principal disagrees with this method and asks you to change your teaching style. What would you do?

Well, as you know, the principal is my boss, and I should follow my boss. However, I would suggest a test of my method. I would ask the principal to allow me to teach with my method for one semester, and at the end of the semester compare my students' ability with the students' abilities of other classes. If my students are superior, I would implore that the principal allow me to continue using the method.

3c. Suppose that your students are responding well to a new teaching method of yours, but your superior dislikes your method and tells you to discontinue using it. What would you say to your superior?

4a. As you are well aware, the class sizes in Korea are rather large. How do you plan to teach spoken English in such an environment?

No problem. I will use lots of pair work and group work. I like the cooperative learning technique and the competitive-cooperative learning technique. I will monitor my students as they work in pairs and groups. Also, I plan to have students to memorize and perform role-plays in front of the class. Furthermore, I will teach my students some English songs.

4b. How do you plan to teach oral English in a classroom of 40 or 50 students?

4c. In your opinion, what's the best way to teach conversational English in a classroom of 40 or 50 students?

5a. What will you do if a student is constantly tardy? What will be your tardy policy?

If the school has a tardy policy, I will enforce that policy. Otherwise, I will censure tardy students harshly. If tardiness continues, I will discuss the problem with the principal and parents of the student. Together I would hope we could find a solution to the problem.

5b. What will you if some students keep getting out of their seat, even though you told them not to?

5c. What will you do if a student hits another student?

6a. Imagine that one of your students accuses you of gender discrimination. How do you defend yourself?

First of all, I firmly believe that prevention is the best medicine. So, I will assure my students from day one that I do not discriminate. Plus, I will keep excellent records of students' work and students' participation. If a student accuses me I will invite the class to vote on the issue. If the vote indicates a general feeling of discrimination, I will deeply consider my teaching style and try to resolve the issue peacefully.

6b. One or both parents of a child comes to school and accuses you in front of the principal of practicing discrimination in your grading methods. What do you respond?

6c. How will you handle any claims of unfairness or discrimination by your students against you?

7a. A student asks you the meaning of a word, and you don't know it. What do you do?

I will suggest that we look it up in a bilingual dictionary together. At the beginning of the course, I will teach my students how to use a bilingual dictionary. Sometimes a word has more than one meaning. A student needs to consider the context of the word, and find the meaning that best fits the context. I will help the student choose the correct meaning of the word. Then, I will go home and memorize the word.

7b. If a student were to ask you for the meaning of a word and you don't know, what would you do?

7c. If a student asks you a grammar question and you're not quite sure about the answer, how would you respond?

8a. Several students refuse to participate in your activities, because they can see no use for English. How can you instill in them a sense of worth of English in their lives?

There are several things I can do. First, I can show them how important English will be to their future, no matter what they have planned for the future. I will create many situations where they may need English in their future and have the students role-play through the situations. By way of example: "You are walking down the street, and suddenly a handsome/beautiful foreigner stops you and asks you for directions to City Hall. What do you say?"

Secondly, I can try to show the students how fun English can actually be by inducing their natural problem-solving skills through task-based learning.

8b. Let's say you've got several students who refuse to do the learning activities, because they see no use for English. What would you do to show them that English is important for everyone?

8c. Suppose a student (or students) won't study. They say, "We don't need English," What would you do or say to motivate such students to learn English?

9a. English is ever changing. How do you intend to keep up with the current trends in the English language?

That's a very interesting question. I never really thought about it much. I have been so concerned about learning English for the past ten years. I never thought about "trends" in the English language. Hmmm. I suppose that every language changes through out time. Even the Korean language is changing. Well, I suppose that the best way to keep up with current English is to read current novels, and surf the internet. I will do my best to keep up with current English.

9b. New words and meanings to words are being added to the English language all the time. How will you keep yourself up on the modern trends in English?

9c. Everyday, new words and phrases are being "coined" by native English speakers. How can you as an educator keep yourself updated on new and modern English?

10a. If several of your students fail an exam, what would you do?

10b. You teach something, and then you test the students, but several of them fail. What would you do?

I would take the failing students aside, give them an opportunity to receive extra help and allow them to take the test again, on their own time of course. In other words, I would tutor the failing students after school, and let them take the test again. Then, I would average the scores between the two tests. This is called "Mastery Learning".

11. How will you handle a classroom full of students of various ability levels?

I will handle it well. I will use various methods to deal with such a situation. One method is called "Dyad Learning". Dyad Learning is taking the advanced students and pairing them up with lower level students. The advanced students will tutor the lower level students. Of course, I will give special training to the "tutors". I am only one person. I cannot give all the students the individual attention they need. So, I will use my advance students to help me.

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Current Issues

Please discuss the cause & effect of:

1. A.I.D.S.

A.       A.I.D.S. stands for the Acquired Immune-Deficiency Syndrome.  A virus, called H-I-V, causes it.  H.I.V. stands for Human Immune-deficiency Virus.  The virus is transmitted through bodily fluids, but mostly through the blood.  I read an article about A.I.D.S., and the article read that H.I.V. originated in African monkeys and then spread to African humans; then, spread to the rest of the world.    That is the cause.  The effect is most often death.  Usually a person can carry the virus in their bodies for 8 to 10 years without knowing.  Then the symptoms of A.I.D.S. begin to appear.  Then, after getting A.I.D.S., 100% of individuals are dead within a year.

2. Global War on Terrorism

A.       The Global War on Terrorism was caused by Al Qaedas attack on September 11, 2001.  Al Qaeda operatives hijacked four American airplanes and crashed two into the New York World Trade Center Towers and one into the Pentagon.  Thousands of people from hundreds of nations died in that attack.  That was the cause.  The effect is that many nations have joined together in the fight against global terrorism.  It might not stop the terrorists, but it will definitely make it a lot harder for the terrorists to accomplish their objectives.

3. Anti-American sentiment in the ROK nowadays.

A.       Anti-American sentiment has existed for decades in the ROK, yet recently it has spread to the entire nation.  The cause was two-fold.  The first part of the cause was the acquittal of two American soldiers in the case of two Korean middle-school girls that were ran-over and killed by the US tank that they were driving.  The second part of the cause is S.O.F.A. (which is the Status of Forces Agreement) between the US military and the ROK government.  S.O.F.A. did not allow the soldiers to be tried in a Korean court.  Those two things were the causes of current anti-American sentiment in the ROK.  The effect will be a change of the S.O.F.A. and possibly strained relations between the ROK and the USA.

4. Global Warming.

A.       It is generally believed that the worlds air pollution is the main cause of global warming.  The effect is (and will be) the melting of the polar ice caps.  This will cause the seas to rise.  It also might cause strange and possible dangerous weather phenomena, such as increased typhoons, cyclones, and hurricanes.

5. Recession in the ROK (1998-9) i.e., IMF Era.

A.       The cause of the ROK recession of 1998 to 1999 was quite complex.  There were many things that contributed to the cause.  At that time there was a general recession in all of Asia.  Many Asian countries had to accept loans from the IMF (which is the International Monetary Fund).  But, specifically in the ROK, there were some banks that made some really poor decisions.  They took many short-term loans and gave many long-term loans.  That was the cause.  There were so many effects.  One is that many banks had to take loans from the government and the government had to take a loan from the IMF.  The aftermath was that many banks tried to call their loans from big businesses that could not pay, and went bankrupt.  For example, Hanbo went bankrupt and the owner was prosecuted for embezzling company funds.  Another effect is that all government employees had a 10% pay cut.  Another effect is that many companies had to liquidate and lay off employees in order to survive.  Another effect is that many private English academies went bankrupt, because most people began pinching pennies (or pinching 10-won pieces).  Another effect is that many bars and entertainment companies lowered their prices (which I think is a good effect).  Basically, the effects affected every part of the ROK.

6. Destruction of the rain forest.

A.       The destruction of the rain forest of Central and South America is cause by the need for food, land, and development in that part of the world.  The effect is that there is great environmental and ecological damage.  Millions of species of flora and fauna are being destroyed.  The medicinal value of these species has not been fully studied.  Furthermore, some people blame the strange changes in the weather to the destruction of the rain forest.

7. North Korea re-starting its nuclear arms program.

A.       Who knows what caused the North Korean government to re-start its nuclear arms program?  The North Korean government claims that it is the right of every nation to defend itself, and that includes the right to develop nuclear weapons.  Personally, I think North Korea has a point there.  But, the problem is that North Korea agreed not to make nuclear weapons.  It is breaking its international agreement.

 

What is your opinion about

1.       Error correction in the EFL classroom?

A.       There are many theories regarding error correction.  Basically, a teachers error correction should follow his/her approach to teaching a second language.  If one takes the structural approach (i.e., that language is structured), one should correct all form errors.  If one takes the functional approach (i.e., that language is for communication), one should correct content errors.  However, some applied linguists (like George, 1972) believe that errors can be prevented in the future by ignoring them in the present.  Unfortunately, studies by others (such as Trahey and White, reported by Rod Ellis), have proven otherwise.  So, my personal opinion is that error-correction is needed.  However, I find it impossible to correct every single error, so I focus on the less marked and more global errors.

2.       the 7th curriculum.

A.       In general, the seventh curriculum is idealistic.  Realistically, it is difficult to implement all the requirements and suggestions of the seventh curriculum.  The Korean government needs to give schools more resources, and teachers more training in order to comply with the seventh curriculum.

3.       ability grouping in the EFL classroom.

A.       Ability grouping (also called homogeneous grouping) has its good points and bad points.  One bad point is the stigma that low-level students will feel by ability grouping.  One good point is the affective filter of lower level students will be reduced, permitting them to learn more.  Having to compete against advanced-level students is not fair.  I think the good points outweigh the bad points.

4.       gender-separated education.

A.       I think that gender-separated education does our society a great dis-service.  I mean:  how can students gain the social skills of interacting with members of the opposite sex if they are separated?  Students may develop erroneous ideas about members of the opposite gender if not given the opportunity to interact.  In short, I hate gender-separated education.

5.       mandatory uniforms (for mid/high school students).

A.       In my opinion, making uniforms mandatory for students is a communistic action.  It is the goal of the communist philosophy to make everyone equal.  It is also called egalitarianism.  Dont get me wrong; Im not saying its bad.  I havent decided one way or the other.  There are good points and bad points.  One bad point is students dont have the right to express themselves through their apparel.  One good point is the poorer students might not feel as inferior to the rich students.  Its a trade off.

6.       Cloning of humans?

A.       Cloning of humans has two issues in one.  The first part is the actual cloning of a whole human being.  To me, having myself cloned is not a pleasant idea.  I think there are enough Leons in this world.  However, I dont believe in restricting other peoples rights.  If they want to clone themselves, fine, let them.  However, I think there needs to be strict laws and guidelines to keep cloning in check.  For example, there should be no cloning without a persons written permission.  The other part of the cloning issue is using cloning for medicinal purposes, such as cloning organs for sick people.  This is a wonderful benefit of cloning technology, in my opinion.

7.       the E.P.I.C. program?

A.       The E.P.I.C. program is a government program to hire native English speakers to supplement English instruction in the middle and high schools in Korea.  I think, in principle, it is a good idea.  But, practically, it is lacking.  I think it is very difficult to find qualified native speakers at the low salaries which EPIC offers.  When I say, Qualified, I mean having a bachelors degree in TESL/TEFL or having a bachelors degree in anything and a TESL/TEFL certificate.  If the government hires non-qualified native speakers, who dont know how to teach, then the native-speaking teachers become little more than babysitters for the students.  So, I agree with the EPIC program in principle, but in reality it is no good.

8.       Content-based education?

A.       Content-based education in first-language (L1) education, and content-based education in second-language (L2) education are two different things.  In L1 education it is the same as curriculum-centered education.  But, in L2 education it is focusing on content rather than the target language in order to teach the target language.  I personally think it is a great idea, because a Buddhist author once taught that the fastest and most efficient way to learn anything is to not know one is learning.

9.       Whole Language Education?

A.        In Applied Linguistics, the term "Whole Language" refers to all aspects of language communication, namely (1) listening, (2) speaking, (3) reading, and (4) writing.  My opinion is that whole language is a "must" in Foreign Language Education.  We, as educators, must prepare our students to become capable communicators in order to succeed in this information age.  All four skills are necessary as the world becomes more and more globalized.

10.    Reunification of North and South Korea?

A.       Every Korean longs for the reunification of the North and South, I included.  The only problem is when and how.  I think it needs to be done in a wise way and it needs to be done slow~ly.  If it is done slowly and wisely, it could benefit both countries in the long-run.  But, if it is done quickly and foolishly, it could destroy both countries.  For one thing, the gap in economic levels between the two countries is too large.  The first step in reunification is FREE TRADE between our two countries.  I believe someday our two countries will be unified peacefully.

How has/does/will _______________ affect(ed) English Education in Korea?

1.       I.T.

A.       I.T. is Information Technology.  We live in the information age and information technology permeates our whole society.  The ROK has become an information-based society, because of the lack of natural resources within its borders.  I.T. has affected English education in the ROK in the following ways:

                                     i.        There is a LAN line in every school.

                                   ii.        There is a computer in every classroom.

                                  iii.        Much instruction is computer-based.

                                 iv.        It saves time and paper and space of materials.

In the future, I expect that I.T. will affect English education by providing every student with a computer and network system in every classroom.

2.       The War in Iraq.

A.       Your answer here.

3.       World Cup 2002.

A.       World Cup 2002 has affected English education in several ways.  One way is it has made South Koreans more confident about themselves.  Another way is it has globalized Korea a bit more and made Koreans realize how important English is the their future.  Even Hiddink communicated through English, not his native language.  English is the international language.  World Cup 2002 drove this point home to a lot of South Koreans.  I think it has motivated them to improve their English Foreign Language skills.  Another way that World Cup 2002 has indirectly affected English education is by bringing a lot of money and prestige to the ROK.  Perhaps some of that money will be channeled into education.

4.       Globalization

A.       The globalization movement of the South Korean government has affected English education.  The government seems more determined than ever to make English a second language in Korea.  Compulsory English education has been around a long time, but in recent decades the ministry of English education has been trying to improve the quality of English education in the ROK.  It seems like every five years (since 1973) there has been a new-and-improved curriculum.  The trend seems to be toward more oral communication and more Communicative Language Learning approach.

5.       Korean S.A.T.

A.       The Korean S.A.T. (or K.S.A.T.) is not, I repeat: NOT, in alignment with the seventh curriculum.  Thus, it affects English education adversely.  Students and Parents generally only care about passing the K.S.A.T.  The K.S.A.T. requires no spoken English and no Listening Comprehension.  It only focuses on grammar and vocabulary.  Therefore, many students disregard or ignore their public-school English teachers, and enroll in private English academies that teach to the K.S.A.T.  Believe it or not the K.S.A.T. has a really huge effect on English instruction in the public schools.

 

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