ECC also has a a division called ECC Junior, which is for kids who get an ECC education, but at a home school It’s a pretty cool program, and for the past two months I’ve been doing some work for ECC Junior. Every year every ECC Junior kid has to take a two-part exam. The first part is a written exam, and the second part is an oral interview with a native teacher. I’ve been working as one of the interviewers.
Sometimes, I don’t want to work an 8-hour day on my day off, but when I get to the interview and start talking to the kids, it makes it all worth it, and I thought I’d relay a few of the funnier stories. Now, these interviews are split into different age and ability levels, and there’s a set of specific questions that I have to ask that correspond to a picture.
From the 5 and 6 year olds I just get really cute mistakes, like when I point to a sandwich and ask “What’s this?” and get “one” as an answer. At that age, it’s just really cute when they say the wrong thing because they’re just babies really, and I’m impressed enough that they even know what I’m saying. It’s when you get to the older kids that interviews get really fun, especially around ages 8-10. Here are some of my best experiences.
At the beginning of the interview they have to introduce themselves, and one of the answers they can give is what they want to be when they grow up. This has gotten some awesome answers! Some of my favorites- a florist, a cake shop worker, a samurai, an international lawyer, a weather forecaster, and an insect hunter. And for most of them, “it’s their dream.” So Cute!!
Surprisingly, the kids have big problems with commands. Those are supposed to be easy points for the kids at the end of the interview…yeah, not so much. They had difficulties with the simplest of commands, like ‘clap your hands.’ But the best misinterpretation was ‘touch your elbow.’ After saying it, two different kids on two different days definitely touched their butts!
Just some random dialogue exchanges during the interview:
‘Whose sneakers are these?’ ‘It’s two.’
Pointing to a bowl of strawberries: ‘What’re these?’ [long pause] ‘Eleven.’
‘Where’s the soy sauce?’ ‘I’m in the box.’
A student introduction: ‘It’s Maki. It’s 10. I’m good at cook.’
‘What’s he doing? ‘It’s Ken.’
And then you get the kids who come in and who are just so super nervous. They get through the introduction really well, but then they get that deer in the headlights look and just stare at the pictures saying “ano” (the same as um). Or I’ve had several girls laugh hysterically when they come in, or after they answer every question.
All in all, KIV days are pretty fun, and I’m a bit sad that I’m finished. But there’s always next year!