1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Hi Guest, welcome to the TES Community!

    Connect with like-minded education professionals and have your say on the issues that matter to you.

    Don't forget to look at the how to guide.

    Dismiss Notice

MFL job interview - written task (help!)

Discussion in 'Modern foreign languages' started by mflteacher661, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. mflteacher661

    mflteacher661 New commenter

    hi everyone! I have an interview next week for a French teacher position (teaching ks3-5) and as part of the interview process we will be completing a written task. We’ve been told it was be an English to French translation and should last approx 15 mins. I’m just wondering if any of you MFL teachers out there has done an exercise like this at interview before (any language) and what was your experience? What difficulty level could I expect? I’m thinking it couldn’t be ridiculously difficult if there are only 15 minutes? French is my main second language and was half of my degree (the other half being drama) but obviously as I’m sure you can all relate, I haven’t done university level translation since well...university! And I finished that 4 years ago so I’m worried they would give us uni level and I would just panic, or would it be more likely they’ll be testing our A level subject knowledge at most? Any experience you can share would be greatly appreciated!
  2. sbkrobson

    sbkrobson Star commenter

    I'm really pleased to hear of this task at interview-I know quite a few language teachers who've expressed surprise that on being interviewed for post they were grilled on everything except for their subject knowledge. With the latest spec, however, you really do need to know your stuff if you are going to contemplate teaching to, say, level seven and upwards.
    I don't know why they would ask you to do a uni level translation, they might well ask you to do an A level translation, but actually my guess is that they would pitch it at GCSE level. I'm guessing also that with 15 mins, it will be a series of short phrases or sentences, rather than one longish work. In fact, with only 15 minutes, it could not possibly be that complex. Interestingly, If you look at the specimen GCSE papers which are freely available on the main exam boards'sites, you'll see that the translation element could be seen to require roughly 15 minutes. Make of that what you will.
    You're going to have to go blind to this one. If you are really worried, you could contact the school and say "is there anything I ought to be doing to prepare for the translation, or are you keeping it very general?".
    Questions like this are not really going to prejudice your application,especially if you got one of those messages saying "if you have any questions please contact us before the day"
    If it's a nice school, they will have sent you that.
    Good luck.
    Last edited: Nov 15, 2018
    agathamorse and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    Very sensible suggestion and comments from sbkrobson.
    The only other thing I might suggest is whether you need to ask whether you could bring a dictionary. After all using one would lose you time, but we also know that choosing the 'correct' word from a suggested list is also a skill.
  4. mflteacher661

    mflteacher661 New commenter

    Thanks for the advice everyone! It turned out to be an a level prose on recycling so it wasn’t as bad as I’d imagined! I think it was a case of fear of the unknown!
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  5. Lara mfl 05

    Lara mfl 05 Star commenter

    So often, it is as you say more the 'unknown' element which causes us to stress, but glad it wasn't too bad and hopefully lead to a post. :)
  6. miranda-s

    miranda-s Occasional commenter

    I went to an interview once where they made us do an A Level paper minus the essay section!
  7. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    Just done one of those. The text I was given to translate into French was an article on tourism from the guardian. 1/2 hour for a page and a half of A4 typed. I thanked my lucky star to be a native speaker but still only completed 1/3 of the task.... The school I was applying for is by no means highly academic. Make of it what you will.
  8. minnie me

    minnie me Star commenter

    Bizarre I think ! ... because ‘ they ‘ can - ha ! not sure how this translates ( no pun intended ! ) to what you may meet in the majority of your classrooms ? Yes I completely understand why subject knowledge is important but I doubt an exercise like this will define the ‘ best ‘ candidate ?
  9. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    I didn't get the job by the way because I could not explain how I differentiate in my classes. I will never know how to answer that question. There are so many variables. Just giving an easier/ more difficult worksheet is so pathetic as a solution.. Glad to see that this week's TES is talking about research on differentiation which suggests that 'providing focused support..., providing targeted catch-up' is more valuable than 'individualised learning plans/ differentiated resources'. In the same TES article, a reminder that learning styles are out, Hooray! (TES February 2019, p 27)
  10. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    Another job, another interview, another failure. This time I failed because the children (year 8) ''didn't make enough progress'' in the 25 minutes lesson I gave. To go back to the OP an d the issue of tasks during the interview, candidates in this instance had to mark a GCSE writing paper and complete a higher tier GCSE reading paper in their second language. A bit more sensible than the translation of the Guardian article mentioned in my previous post.
    Lara mfl 05 likes this.
  11. cathr

    cathr Occasional commenter

    Forgot to say that I was told I had seriously undermarked the GCSE writing paper which was riddled with errors and used very simple language...

Share This Page