Wednesday, February 02, 2005

The best interview ever

Well, not ever. 'Cause obviously the best interview ever would result in a 100% guarantee of a job. I'd say my chances are closer to 80%, but clearly it's up to me to make it 100%.

So, I met Mr. Irish (as I will now call him) at 4:00. Right off the bat, we were talking in English (much to my glee, but it was expected, as we had spoken only English on the phone). It was a really great conversation, but not to bore you to tears, I'll try to break it down for you:

Click "Tell me more" to continue!

The Good Stuff
What got my foot in the door is the fact that I'm American, as he has some clients looking for American teachers so they can communicate better with their American counterparts. He was slightly worried that I would have a strong southern accent, and was genuinely pleased with my practiced Standard American Accent (thank you acting degree!).

He's not so concerned with my lack of teaching experience, nor the fact that I'm not certified to teach English as a second language. If he were to take me on, it would be to work with advanced students, and if down the line he would want me to be certified, he would pay for that.

He knows exactly where I'm coming from, as 13 years ago he came to France with no French and jumped right into teaching English. He's been there and done that, so he knows what he's talking about and had lots of helpful advice.

The Not So Good Stuff
I absolutely have to brush up on English grammar. Not at a CELTA (that's the cerification for teaching english) level, but perhaps enough to get into a CELTA course. He pointed out the in the states and UK, English grammar isn't taught in the same way that it is when it's taught as a second language. Because these students have studied English intensively, they understand the basics of English grammar better than many Americans or any other Anglophones do - because we take it for granted. Sure, we know that "If I knew, I wouldn't have come" is not as good as "If I had known, I wouldn't have come," but can you explain why? Herein lies the problem.

The French needs to improve (luckily this didn't come as a surprise).

But Wait! There's More Good Stuff
Mr. Irish is going to email me a list of books to study up on my grammar. When I feel comfortable enough, I can contact him and he'll give me a little test, which will immediately put me back in the running for a job.

All in all, it was a very positive experience. In fact, I sat in his office for an hour and ten minutes! Who does that for an interview? So, I have a lot of work to do in the next few weeks, but it seems it will be worth it in the end. Perhaps things are starting to look up!

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