Job Interview Prep 101: Know the Latest ESL Teacher Buzzwords

31st March 2023

When you are on the job hunt, it’s important to be able to talk the talk. In the world of Teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) or teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL), that means being familiar with the latest buzzwords. By doing so, you’ll be able to hold your own in a job interview and show that you’re up-to-date on the latest trends in the field.

From “content-based instruction” to “distance learning,” there are many terms to keep up with. However, don’t worry, we’re here to help. To help you ace your next job interview, we have compiled a list of common TEFL/TESOL buzzwords and their definitions, which will ensure that you’re well-versed in the latest jargon.

In addition, if you’re looking beyond learning just buzzwords and have the desire to learn and gain every information there is related to TEFL and TESOL courses to become the best ESL/EFL teacher then we highly recommend you to go through our Internationally Accredited TEFL/TESOL Course in Kolkata.

Now, without any further delay, let’s get to know everything about TEFL/TESO buzzword, which will help you to crack your interview with ease.

What is a TEFL/TESOL buzzword?

When it comes to TEFL/TESOL, there are many buzzwords floating around. A buzzword is a word or phrase that has become popular in a particular field. It is usually a short, simple term that captures a lot of information in a matter of syllables.

Buzzwords can be helpful when you’re trying to explain something in a short amount of time or make your resume sound more impressive. In the world of TEFL/TESOL, buzzwords can refer to anything from a specific teaching method to a type of technology used in the classroom.

Understanding these buzzwords is key if you’re looking to get hired as a teacher or tutor. It’s important to be prepared for the teaching job interview and have an understanding of the common TEFL/TESOL buzzwords.

Some must-know TEFL/TESOL buzzwords:

If you want to ace your teacher interview and if you ever wish to join the global ESL teacher community, then there are a few buzzwords that you must know. They are:

i. L1 and L2

L1 stands for the first language a person learns, while L2 stands for the second language a person learns. This is important to note when teaching ESL, as it can help the teacher understand the student’s language level and ability and provide appropriate instruction.

ii. Receptive vs. productive skills

Receptive skills refer to skills involving the intake and comprehension of verbal or written communication, such as listening and reading. On the other hand, productive skills involve the output of verbal or written communication, such as speaking and writing. Receptive and productive skills are two of the most important categories of language skills and it’s important to be familiar with them during an English teaching job interview.

iii. ESP

ESP stands for English for Specific Purposes and it relates to teaching English that has a specific focus or purpose. For example, this might include teaching English skills for a particular job role, such as business English or teaching English to medical personnel. ESP is becoming increasingly popular in the TEFL/TESOL industry, so it’s important to be aware of it during job interviews.

iv. Learning styles

Learning styles refer to different learning strategies used by individuals to absorb information. Common types of learning styles include visual, auditory and kinesthetic. Knowing what type of learning style a student has can help you tailor your lesson plan to suit their individual needs. Thus, it’s important to be familiar with learning styles when discussing the topic of teaching English in a job interview.

v. Authentic

Authentic materials refer to materials that are true to the real world and natural to the language. These typically include newspapers, magazines, documentaries, or audio/video recordings. Authentic materials are useful for teaching real-world language as opposed to isolated language skills. Being familiar with ‘authentic’ materials is important to show that you understand real-world language teaching.

Stand Out By learning these Buzzwords:

There are plenty of other buzzwords which exist and by knowing them you will feel the ease to join the global ESL teacher community. Below we have listed some of the important buzzwords related to TEFL/TESOL:

  • ESL

ESL stands for English as a second language and is used to describe a course for non-native speakers of English. It is designed to help those who speak another language as their first language to become proficient in English. ESL courses are popular in many countries and are often used as a way to help people integrate into the culture and express themselves clearly.

  • EFL

On the other hand, stands for English as a Foreign Language and describes the teaching of English to students in a foreign, non-English speaking country.

For example- A teacher at a language institute in Singapore with Singapore children is teaching EFL.

  • CLIL

CLIL stands for Content and Language Integrated Learning and it refers to a teaching approach in which the language component is combined with a content component.

For example, this might include teaching English via the subject of history, in which the content component is history and the language component is English. CLIL has become increasingly popular in recent years, so being aware of it will set you apart during job interviews.

  • CEFR

CEFR stands for the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages and it is an internationally recognized framework for describing and measuring language ability. The CEFR is an important tool for assessing and reporting language aptitude, so being aware of it is important for interviewing for a TEFL/TESOL position.

  • Feedback

Feedback refers to information or comments that are given in response to a student's performance or to a particular learning experience.

For example, constructive criticism or positive reinforcement. Knowing how to give feedback correctly is important for a successful teaching experience, so it’s necessary to be familiar with the concept during job interviews.

  • Communicative Competence

Communicative competence refers to an individual’s ability to communicate effectively in a social context. It is often broken down into four components:

  1. linguistic competence
  2. pragmatic competence
  3. sociolinguistic competence
  4. discourse competence
  • Having a good understanding of communicative competence is essential for any English language teacher, so being familiar with it will be beneficial during job interviews.
  • Game-based learning: Game-based learning is a type of learning that is based on game mechanics and game dynamics. This type of learning encourages students to interact with the material and develop critical thinking skills.
  • Flexible learning: Flexible learning refers to a learning environment that provides learners with choices in terms of when, where, and how they learn.
  • Blended learning: Blended learning is when technology is used to combine classroom-based instruction with online learning.

What are some specific teaching online terms?

i. Synchronous learning

Synchronous learning is a type of online learning that is done in real-time with all students and instructors connected in the same online space. This type of learning requires the right technical infrastructure to run smoothly, so being aware of it is important for TEFL/TESOL positions that involve teaching online.

Synchronous learning is a type of online learning that is done in real-time with all students and instructors

ii. Asynchronous learning

Asynchronous learning is a type of online learning that does not require students and instructors to be connected in the same online space at the same time. This type of learning is typically done through recorded videos or lectures and can be conducted more effectively than synchronous learning due to its flexibility.

iii. Hybrid learning

Hybrid learning is a type of learning that combines both traditional and remote models of learning. For example, this might involve both physical classes and online classes being conducted concurrently. Knowing about this type of learning is important for candidates applying for TEFL/TESOL jobs, as it is becoming increasingly common in the industry.

iv. LMS

LMS stands for Learning Management System and it is an online platform used to facilitate, manage and track the learning process. LMS’s are becoming increasingly popular within TEFL/TESOL and they are particularly useful for teaching online. Thus, it’s important that you are familiar with what LMS platforms are and how they work before attending a job interview.

v. WebQuest

WebQuest is a type of online activity that involves students exploring the internet to answer questions or find information related to a particular topic.

A WebQuest has four main stages:

  • Introduction
  • Task
  • Process
  • Evaluation

WebQuest activities are becoming increasingly popular in the English language teaching industry and knowing what they involve and how to use them effectively can be beneficial during job interviews.

Final Thoughts

Becoming familiar with the latest TEFL/TESOL buzzwords can help you to stand out in job interviews for English teaching positions and can make your life easy to join the global ESL teacher community as well. From ‘receptive vs. productive skills’ to ‘Web Quest’ and ‘LMS’, this list of must-know TEFL/TESOL industry terms will ensure that you’re more than prepared to take on any job interview. Once again, good luck!

In case, if you want to become an all-rounder ESL teacher with all the knowledge and teaching skills there is to become an ESL teacher then we do recommend our Internationally Accredited TEFL/TESOL Course in Kolkata city, which will definitely will help you in your teaching journey.

Written By : Sanjana    Share

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