The season is here to start teacher interviews. Maybe you are on a committee to find a new teacher or maybe you are looking for a new adventure. You want to find the right fit for yourself and the school.

interviewHere is a list of questions that may be useful to find a teacher that is interested in proficiency-based teaching. Thanks to Julie Golden for helping me with these.

* Describe a typical lesson or unit plan. This question alone may answer several of the following questions.

* Describe some activities you incorporate to promote the language modes and skills. Hopefully they know that they are interpretive reading/listening, interpersonal speaking/writing, presentational speaking/writing.

* How do you assess the students’ learning? Hopefully you will hear about performance-based assessments and a variety of assessments beyond tests.

* What is the role of grades in your class? How do you assign a grade?

* How do you differentiate your lessons for students with different proficiency levels and learning styles? Maybe they will mention centers or individualized project based learning. 

* How do you incorporate student-use of technology? First you may want to explain the available technology and the policy about students using cell phones in class.

* How do you connect the lessons to your students’ interests?

* How do you connect the lessons to the real world? Speakers, field trips, community events, volunteering…

* How do you connect the lessons to other content areas? Can you give an example of a cross-curricular collaboration you did with another content teacher?

* What types of authentic resources do you use in class activities?

* How do you teach the language and the culture?

* Explain the types of homework you assign. See if they assign meaningful homework vs. worksheets.

* What are your beliefs about language learning? How did you learn your 2nd language?

* How much of the class should be in the target language? The teacher? The students? 90% is the goal for the teacher.

You may get a newbie to proficiency. If that happens, explain it and ask about their willingness to try it. Try to avoid acronyms since they can vary. Also try to avoid questions like “Do you work well with other?” Like anyone intelligent would say “no.”


It’s amazing to think of everything we do to create authentic learning for our students. Whew! Happy interviewing!

What questions do you ask at an interview?