English teachers often worry about how to answer employers’ questions in interviews but equally important are the questions you ask them. Show them how clued up you are about the TEFL industry with these 10 great questions!
This is an important question to ask. Class preparation time is usually unpaid, so if you have to prepare all the classes yourself it will lower your hourly rate. However if a school teaches its courses from textbooks then this will really cut down on your prep time.
Again, an important question. If you are travelling one hour each way to an in-company class (and travel time is usually unpaid too) then that one hour class is taking up three hours of your timetable.
Most TEFL courses teach using a general method. There are language schools which use very specific methodologies such as the Callan school. You should be familiar with most of these from the TEFL course, but if they do have a specific methodology, it’s important to ask.
If the school does use a specific methodology, they will hopefully offer you some training. But even if they don’t, it’s always a useful question to ask and has the bonus of making you look keen! Regular staff training is generally the sign of a good school with management who care about the quality of their teachers.
It’s good to gauge the size of the school with this question. Bigger schools will probably have a more rigid curriculum, whereas smaller schools often allow the teacher more creative freedom in the classes.
This is a good way to get an idea of the teaching practice and culture in the school, as well as a great way to pick up some tips and lesson ideas!
This varies from school to school – it’s very common for students to have a lot of homework if they are studying for the FCE or the CAE, but sometimes with general English it can be a struggle to get students to do their homework, so it’s good to know what’s expected of you.
This will really affect the type of lessons you teach – exam preparation classes are usually more focused and results are really important, whereas general English classes are slightly more relaxed.
During your TEFL course you should get experience teaching a variety of classes, from one on one classes to groups of ten. Class sizes will make a difference to the type of activities which will be successful in a classroom setting.
Hopefully you won’t have too many discipline problems if you’re teaching children, but it’s always best to be prepared!
Finally – check out our “5 questions you’re guaranteed to be asked in a TEFL job interview“. It’s part 1 one of our ‘how to find a job teaching English abroad series’ and will help you shine in your next interview.