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ESL Teacher Interview Questions

Instructor: Melinda Santos
Interviews for ESL teaching positions typically include standard pedagogical questions, with more in-depth questions focusing on your teaching experience and foreign language skills. Read on to identify some of the questions you may be asked and then check out some useful ESL teaching resources.

Interviewing for an ESL Teaching Position

Because of the growing diversity of student populations across the nation, English as a Second Language (ESL) teachers are in high demand. When interviewing for ESL teaching positions, it is important to remember to answer each question honestly, and in a confident and positive manner. Reflect upon your experience and education as often as possible, and take your time thinking through your responses. Some questions commonly asked during ESL teacher interviews are listed below:

  • In addition to English, what foreign languages are you fluent in?
  • What are your classroom management techniques for handling groups of students that speak different languages?
  • Have you developed ESL lesson plans before and if so, what criteria do you use?
  • What specific educational and professional training have you acquired for teaching ESL?
  • What qualities are important for an ESL teacher to have?
  • What led you to become an ESL teacher?
  • Do you have any previous ESL teaching experience?
  • Are you capable of integrating technology into your ESL instruction?
  • Are you familiar with the ESL student assessments required in the district?
  • Do you have experience modifying tests for ESL students?
  • How do you ensure successful collaboration between you as an ESL teacher and other instructors working with the same students?
  • What do you do to dissipate misunderstandings that might occur due to cultural differences?
  • What challenges have you faced as an ESL teacher and how did you overcome them?

Preparing for the Interview

In addition to practicing your responses to the questions above, you might also want to jot down some questions for your interviewer. Some relevant topics you can discuss include:

  • What are the ESL student demographics at this school?
  • Do ESL teachers at this school pull students out of class for individual and group work or work with them in their regular classroom?
  • On average, how many students are assigned to each ESL teacher?
  • Is there a standardized curriculum the ESL teachers are expected to follow?
  • Is there a teaching schedule for this position?
  • Is this position assigned to one school or would the person accepting it be involved in several different schools?
  • What professional development opportunities are offered within the district?

ESL Teaching Resources

Once you accept an ESL teaching position, you can refer to the following resources to help establish a curriculum and further develop your teaching strategies. Lessons are self-paced and taught by expert instructors.

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