Preparing University EFL Students for Job Interviews in English: A Task-Based Approach
Keywords: task-based teaching, interview preparation, reflective assessment, student needs
Kochi University, Japan
Marcus Otlowski is a lecturer in the Department of International Studies at Kochi University. He holds a Masters in Applied Linguistics from Macquarie University in Australia. He has been teaching EFL in Japan for over 20 years at a number of universities. He specializes in Second Language Acquisition, sociolinguistics, teaching methodology, and task-based materials design.
With English as the de facto lingua franca of the global economy, more and more companies, national and international, hold interviews for candidates in English. Gumperz and Roberts (1991) note that interethnic encounters pose a daunting challenge for some learners; none more so than an English interview. Without the necessary cultural or linguistic knowledge, learners can potentially create negative impressions of themselves for interviewers. In an EFL situation, with limited time and large class numbers, how can instructors prepare students for such interviews? This paper reports on a task-based unit of work that was designed to activate the learner s linguistic resources, develop an essential lexis for an interview, and introduce the learner to the cultural differences of a western interview.