Pre-sessional EAP courses..... bits and bobsThis post gives just a few tips on the whole pre-sessional EAP experience in the UK. So, before we move on you may ask, " What's a pre sessional EAP course?" In a few words, it is a summer course run by universities (usually their language centers) and the students attending these courses are international students (mostly Chinese) who have been accepted on an MA (or undergraduate program) by this or other universities. The aims of these courses are many but in a nutshell, the goal is to prepare learners for the university experience and help them improve their academic English. The courses are usually 4, 6 or ten weeks long.
I have taught on three courses at great universities with lovely managers and colleagues. It is a demanding but rewarding experience and I strongly suggest you try it. Some of my friends though ask me " How can I do it?" which gave me the idea to write this blog post. Here are a few suggestions:
Where do I begin?
- Draft a CV which is connected to your studies and teaching experience. Apart from a CV, it is important to write a cover letter too with a more detailed description of what you have done and how it is connected to the EAP job you want to get. Some universities have application forms and a CV or cover letter is not necessary, but having one always comes in handy, even if you just copy paste stuff from your CV to the application form!
I go to two websites:
How can I prepare for an interview?
You can't really prepare but if you want to read a bit on EAP, I would suggest reading EAP Essentials: A teacher's guide to principles and practice by Alexander, Argent and Spencer. Of course you can always do a Google search and reads loads about EAP.
What should I expect before/during an interview?First of all, don't worry if you do not live in the UK because many universities hold telephone or Skype interviews. I only have experience of Skype interviews as I live in Greece. If you do live in the UK, well then you go to wherever the interview will be held : ).
If you get an interview invitation, some universities may ask you to do some tasks prior to the interview like provide a lesson plan of an EAP session you taught or assess a research paper.
What kind of questions do they ask?
Loads! Here are a few to get you thinking.
- Describe a difficult situation with a teacher or student and how you dealt with it.
- What are your three best teaching features?
- Tell us about your education/qualifications and how they have shaped your teaching.
- What are the aims of a pre sessional course?
- What's the difference between an EAP course and an Ielts academic English course?
- What do you consider plagiarism and how do you deal with plagiarism? How can you help your students avoid plagiarism?
- What are the differences between EFL and EAP?
- What technology do you use when you teach EAP? Tell us a few of the EAP websites you go to when you teach your students.
- Why do you want to work for.......... university?
- What could you bring to our university? (yes, I got that one)
So, that's all for now. Good luck with your interview : ) Feel free to add any other suggestions and tell me how you did!
Till next time......