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ESL Teacher Interview
Questions

30 Questions and Answers by
| Shane is an English Teacher at the High School level where he teaches English 9 Honors, English 11, Yearbook/Journalism, and AP Seminar.

Question 1 of 30

What communication do you have with parents when their child is not living up to expectations?

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ESL Teacher Interview Questions

  1. 1.

    What communication do you have with parents when their child is not living up to expectations?

      Protocols are things that interviewers want to see in a possible new hire. Go through a plan that you have to include parents in a student issue. A disorganized teacher with classroom protocols can get knocked down a peg if there is no preparation for a scenario like this in an interview.

      Shane's Answer

      "I like to give my students as many opportunities as possible to fix the behavior on their own. But, if this does not happen, I involve the parents through an email or phone class first. If improvement does not happen, I bring the parents and students into the school. Lastly, if the problem persists, I bring in the administration for added support."

  2. 2.

    Describe your teaching philosophy on a day-to-day basis.

      Giving the interviewer how your class works every day will assure peace of mind when hiring you. Be specific in what things matter most to you, so the interviewer understanding who you are and why the way you are as a teacher.

      Shane's Answer

      "My teaching philosophy every day is to strive for my students to learn one new thing each time. This way, I can assess at the end of each class what stuck out to them and how they can use the information moving forward. My class should never be stagnant, and I need to have my students in mind when planning out what I need to accomplish in class to help them to succeed."

  3. 3.

    Share one professional goal you want to achieve over your career.

      Interviewers want to see that you are growing and improving yourself. Think through professional goals beforehand that could make you a better teacher and educator. Giving specifics is the best way to go.

      Shane's Answer

      "One professional goal that I have is getting my master's degree in ESL. I have looked at a variety of programs and feel like Liberty University's certification would be best. With online curriculum and classes, I can teach as well as take school over a year."

  4. 4.

    How would peers describe your teaching?

      Many times, an interviewer does not know the interviewee. Share a part of yourself on how others view your teaching. Be honest and connect how you partner with these teachers. The interviewer wants to see how you will fit into their community.

      Shane's Answer

      "My peers would say that I have an energetic teaching style. By interacting with my students in a class, small group, and individual settings, my peers get to see how I spend time in different environments. When teachers are in each other's classrooms, they get a greater sense of teaching. I have learned a lot by checking out different subjects."

  5. 5.

    If you find out that a class will lose 15 minutes last minute, how do you adapt to the situation?

      Teaching can change on a dime. A seasoned teacher has to adapt to various situations. It is easy to get frustrated, but an interviewer wants to see how you modify lessons in tight windows of time.

      Shane's Answer

      "One of the best attributes of any teacher is being adaptable. Students vary from class to class, lessons change, and students' behavior shifts, but teachers can handle this. If I lose 15 minutes, I will not sweat the small stuff. I focus more on activities and less on the teaching of new materials. Then, students can learn and grow through some fun."

  6. 6.

    Describe components that are imperative for a lesson plan.

      Some components need to be shared to prove that you know what you are doing when teaching ESL. Go through a traditional plan that gives students the best opportunities for a bright future. The interviewer needs to grasp how you put your lessons together for this question.

      Shane's Answer

      "Songs are one of the best ways that students learn. So, I start my classes with a hello song and a goodbye song that fit into the lesson I am teaching. Additionally, I have an introduction and wrap-up on the bookends of the class. In the middle of my time, I have a teaching section, assessment opportunities, and activities."

  7. 7.

    What is the best teaching achievement you have experienced?

      Give a personal example of teaching accolades, but you can also focus on a teacher/student success story. Being more specific is the best answer here. The interviewer wants to get to know you and see what matters to you in the profession.

      Shane's Answer

      "Over my 15 years in the profession, I have had recognitions and accolades, but nothing is better than the achievement of student success. When a student leaves my classroom, I want a part of them to use the information they have learned in my class for the rest of their lives. By having students coming back to visit and hearing their stories, I understand the impact I have had on students that needed me during a particular time of life."

  8. 8.

    What kind of homework do you give to ESL students?

      There is a time and place for homework. But, there are some teachers out there that give homework with no reasoning. Prove your homework's worth. Share what a typical week looks like for you involving extra work.

      Shane's Answer

      "I only want to give homework that enhances learning outside the classroom. With this in mind, I work to give homework that allows the student to view the world around them in a new way. Let's say we are working on words for different foods. I may have a homework assignment for students to write out the English name of foods that they have in their fridge or pantry."

  9. 9.

    What technology implementation do you use in your classes?

      Technology is a part of the present and will continue to be in the future. The interviewer needs to see how you implement tech to enhance learning. There is a balance you will need to show in your answer here.

      Shane's Answer

      "PowerPoint presentations, Prezi, YouTube videos, and Kahoot! are some of the ways I get to use technology in my classroom. I still believe in paperwork because students can learn and remember key definitions. But, there are a variety of helpful online tools to help with memory and long-term understanding that I use weekly."

  10. 10.

    How accessible is your curriculum for ESL students?

      Not every student learns the same. An interviewer wants to see how you diversify what you do to give some students' extra resources if they are in need. Dive into different language levels in your class and how you use varying materials to help with personal learning.

      Shane's Answer

      "Assessment data is the best way for me to lesson plan and diversify my lessons. By understanding learning styles, I can see the kind of support students need, based on the activity. Specific modifications can be things like visual cues or other lessons that allow students' independence for what they need to be successful."

  11. 11.

    Share one thing about yourself.

      This question is an icebreaker of sorts. The interviewer wants to get a sense of your personality and likes in your life. Give them an answer that adds fulfillment to your life.

      Shane's Answer

      "One thing I like to do is run. After each day of work, I hit some running trails nearby. This exercise is a great kind of stress-reducer for me if I have had a hard day. Additionally, I sleep better at night, and I feel good to finish off my day."

  12. 12.

    What makes an ESL classroom different from a traditional classroom?

      The learning environment in a classroom with non-English speakers does look different from a regular classroom. With a variety of resources and teaching tools, new language learning needs support. This question's answer needs to give clarity to the interviewer if you can support ESL students or not. Giving examples of how you have done this before will help.

      Shane's Answer

      "In the last school, I brought in Chinese and English cues to help the Chinese international students. By recalling vocabulary and enhancing language concepts, practice happened every day through online text, videos, and other activity introductions."

  13. 13.

    How would you describe a strong teacher?

      Many people can define this type of teacher as being someone who demands respect in the classroom, is superior, and is dominant in a class setting. This example does not always have to be the case. Speak of a time where a teacher was strong, even though they still have a soft heart for the students.

      Shane's Answer

      "At my last job, there was a female teacher that I respected. When I entered her classroom, I got the sense that she cared about her students. Sure, she still had rules, classroom management, and commitments in the classroom, but she spent time going around to every student through the period, truly engaging them. To me, this example is a strong teacher."

  14. 14.

    What modification do you do with students who are struggling behaviorally in your classroom?

      Diversification is one of the best ways an interviewer can see if you are a qualified teacher or not. Talk through situations where you had modifications with a student to breed success. A plethora of examples can show the interviewer you have experience in this area.

      Shane's Answer

      "There are a few things I can try to diversify a student's learning who is struggling. Sometimes, moving a student refocuses them on the material. If poor behavior is still happening, I talk with them one-on-one to see how I can support them. Even asking the student if they are o.k. can diffuse any behavioral issues."

  15. 15.

    In what ways do you modify lessons for ESL students who also have a learning disability?

      Just like a traditional English learner, ESL students can have learning disabilities. For some, ESL students are in the class due to this fact. Share a typical lesson that could have some modifications to give more baby steps to help a student with a learning disability along in the right direction.

      Shane's Answer

      "Let's say I am working on a lesson involving past tense. For the typical ESL student, I may bring in previous knowledge about using past tense in their native language and adapting it to English. For a student with a learning disability, I would get the class started and work with this student one-on-one, working on the basics of past tense in their language again before diving into more challenging material. By seeing progress, then I can see if they are ready to move on or not. For certain sections, I may group students into different parts of the classroom, based on their knowledge, to give each group the teaching they need for ultimate success."

  16. 16.

    Speak to an example where a challenging student became a better student in your class.

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  17. 17.

    Give an example of your most challenging students and how you handled situations with them.

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  18. 18.

    How do you work with troublesome students?

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  19. 19.

    How many years have you been an ESL educator?

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  20. 20.

    What other languages do you speak fluently besides English?

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  21. 21.

    What certifications do you currently have in ESL?

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  22. 22.

    What questions do you have about this school?

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  23. 23.

    What professional development has furthered your education to this point?

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  24. 24.

    What is the best thing about teaching?

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  25. 25.

    What are the best ways to motivate your students?

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  26. 26.

    What keeps you motivated to teach during the day?

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  27. 27.

    What do you like about this school?

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  28. 28.

    What is your approach to developing an assessment?

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  29. 29.

    Give an example of progress monitoring in your ESL class.

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  30. 30.

    What do you do to communicate with ESL students' families?

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