Applying for a place

Topic Focus

To think about the different ways of assessing candidates’ suitability for our courses.

60 minutes

Depending on the type of course you are running, there are different ways of ensuring potential candidates are suitable for it.

Task 1: Your ideas

Consider the question below. Click on the Suggested Answer switch when you are ready to compare. 

Think first
Suggested answer
How do/would you decide if candidates are suitable for your course?

Here are some ways we use:

  • An application form
  • Pre-interview tasks 
  • Interviews
  • A questionnaire

Look at the following teacher training courses. How would you assess whether candidates are suitable?

Teacher writing on smartboard in front of class of adult students

When you are ready, click below to see the suggested answer. 

The type of method for recruiting candidates depends on the type of course you are running.

External courses such as CELTA or CertTESOL require that all potential candidates are interviewed for a place on the course. 

For some external qualifications, such as Delta Modules One and Three, there is no requirement to interview candidates – this is because there is no requirement to take a course before taking these qualifications. However, you may give potential candidates some pre-course tasks (such as ones focusing on language awareness) to assess their suitability. 

Courses such as this one have no such demands, so an application form could suffice. This may ask for information about the candidate’s experience. 

Bespoke courses may have no such suitability checking as candidates are likely to approach the school to provide specific training. 

In-house training might be compulsory with teachers having no option but to attend! However, in-house training may be delivered as a result of teacher requests (‘can we have a workshop on error correction’) or may be part of a school’s annual appraisal (observations usually fulfil this requirement).

If you work at school (or have done recently), how do you assess candidates’ suitability to take your teacher training courses?

Task 2: An application / expression of interest form

Think back to the form you completed to attend this course. Click here if you can’t remember.

What information did it ask you?
Do you think this would be suitable in your context?
If not, what would you add?

Task 3: Interviews

Many teacher training courses involve a pre-course interview. Consider the two questions below, and click ‘Suggested answer’ when you are ready to compare.

Think first
Suggested answer
Do you think interviews are necessary?

Interviews can be really important for some types of courses and are usually required on externally validated courses. They are also a chance for trainers and potential trainee teachers to meet each to see whether the course is suitable.

Think first
Suggested answer
What would you expect to happen during an interview?

Obviously this depends on the type of course you are interviewing for, but the following usually take place:

  • Trainees are given an outline of the course and explanation of how the course works/is assessed.
  • Questions and answers (by both parties!).
  • Trainees may complete some short tasks (such as short pieces of writing or completing language analysis questions).
  • Trainee teachers may have to demonstrate something – such as a teaching technique. 
  • Trainees may have to give answers to tasks they were sent before the interview: i.e. pre-interview tasks.

Task 4: Tips and tricks for effective interviews

Spend some time researching how to conduct an interview. These websites may help you.

Did you learn anything new? Add your reflections to your journal and/or feel free to share anything with the group via the Final thoughts Padlet.

Task 5: Interview questions

Think about teacher training courses you know. What questions would you ask any potential candidates?

Type your answer into the speech bubble on the left. Try to think of 5-10 questions. When you are finished, click COMPARE to see some suggested answers. 

Taken from Melia-Leigh and Northall (2020) Etpedia Teacher Training: 172

Which ones do you think you would ask potential candidates on your courses?

Task 6: Declarations

In the final stage of applying for courses, you may want your candidates to sign a declaration form. This is important if there are problems later in the course.

Think first
What kind of information do you think you should include in such a form?

Following a successful interview, give potential candidates information about the course. This should explain in clear language what is expected of them and ask them to sign to show they have understood.

Which of the following candidate statements would you include in your courses? Would you add any other information?

Adapted from Melia-Leigh and Northall (2020) Etpedia Teacher Training: 173

Think of a teacher training course you know and design a declaration form for it. 

Note: if you are running an accredited course (such as CertTESOL), you may be required to include certain information.