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Fly High Interviewing in English for Foreign Airline Cabin Crew
- Fly High Interviewing in English for Foreign Airline Cabin Crew
- Issue Date
- 외국어교육특수대학원 TESOL학과
- 이화여자대학교 외국어교육특수대학원
- Candice A. MacDonald.
- Ⅰ. Introduction
Interest in Korea is growing in the area of airline cabin crew, in fact, there are more than fifty universities and colleges which offer ‘Cabin crew’-related majors. There are a growing number of English classes specifically designed for those who want to pursue this career path. In order to become cabin crew for overseas airlines, one of the most challenging and crucial parts is preparing for intense interviewing procedures in English. The job interview process for foreign airlines is quite different from typical job interviews in Korea. Airline interviews typically consist of discussion, role-play and one-to-one or group interviews (as shown in Table 1 below). Therefore, oral communication skills are the most significant factor in passing the interview. Since Korean students seldom have opportunities to practice communicating in English, due to a test-driven education system, few students have the communicative competence, nor the confidence, for genuine oral communication (Choi, 2008). The main objective of this Portfolio, therefore, is to improve potential cabin crews’ oral communication skills through real interaction.
Table 1: Interview procedure
: Group interview with Korean interviewers in English
- Students will be asked 1-2 questions.
: This is a survival interview. It takes the whole day.
- Small talk as a group
- Group discussion (3 or 4 times)
- Role-play (not at all or once)
: Individual interview with one or two interviewers from various countries.
It takes 40-50 minutes.
This course is largely a English for Vocational Purposes (EVP) course for adult students who are motivated to take a tailored course, specifically targeting their needs (Dudley-Evans, T. & St. John, M. J, 1998). They are mixed gender but the majority are women, and range from 21 to 35 years old. The level of the students is Intermediate mid to high in listening, speaking and writing and from Intermediate high to Advance low in reading according to ACTFL.
Through an informal needs analysis with the target students, I found two major difficulties the students faced during the real interview with the foreign interviewers. One was that it was difficult for them to express their opinions in English in front of groups of people. The other was that they lacked cultural background knowledge, which is one possible topic for the interview. In order to address these problems, this Textbook puts an emphasis on activities that require students to express their opinions. Also, this Textbook includes diverse cultural topics to expose students to a wide range of issues since cultural sensitivity is of paramount importance in order to work as a team with other crew members from various countries, as well as passengers.
This Textbook is developed based on Communicative Language Teaching (CLT) with a thematic syllabus. The main goal of CLT is improving communicative competence. Speakers use language as a social tool to communicate for different purposes, focusing on meaning(Richards, 2006). The principles fit the target students’ goal since they need to communicate with interviewers and other candidates during interviews, focusing on meaning. In addition, according to Savignon (2002), culture is recognized as important in shaping speakers’ communicative competence in CLT. This feature of CLT meets the target students’ interviewing needs with interviewers from various countries.
Units are organized by topics and divided into two sections: 1. Express yourself and 2. The job of cabin crew. In the Sample Unit, Unit 2. What are your Strengths and Weaknesses?, for instance, it is subdivided into Qualities of cabin crew, Strengths, Weaknesses, Cultural differences and Mock Interviews. It begins with qualities of cabin crew in order to find their strengths and weaknesses related to the job of cabin crew. After finding appropriate strengths and weaknesses for a job interview, students then learn how to effectively deal with interview questions. For instance, they practice how to soften their weaknesses. Then, they practice speaking about their strengths and weaknesses. In addition, various cultural aspects are integrated to raise awareness of diverse cultures. Finally, mock interviews are provided to practice real interviews.
Each topic starts by introducing the topic with schema activation and language support (e.g. vocabulary) for topics. Then, authentic reading or listening texts are provided to develop critical thinking skills about topics or to learn interview techniques. After that, activities for meaningful or communicative practice are offered to practice what they have learned and to improve fluency. As a final task, students participate in meaning focused-tasks, which consist of mock interviews. These final tasks are designed to mimic airlines’ interview components.
Throughout the Textbook, pair or small group work assignments are carried out to maximize interaction among students, to improve fluency and increase motivational levels. Also, in order to increase learner autonomy, students are required to complete self-evaluation and peer-feedback forms after the final tasks (e.g. mock interviews). A unique feature of this Book is related to Section 2, The job of cabin crew, which covers topics about the duties of cabin crew. The purpose of this section is to enhance students’ understanding of the job of cabin crew since using a second language for the workplace requires not only linguistic proficiency and knowledge, but also knowledge and understanding of work-related and disciplinary concepts (Basturkmen, H. (2006). Lastly, Dale and Wolf (2006) state that the nature of communication in group discussion is different from other speaking strategies since participants need to exchange their ideas and solve problems together. Therefore, students will also gain experience with how to be effective leaders or group members who actively participate in discussion.
Ⅲ. Expected outcomes and Conclusion
This Textbook is designed for an English for Vocational Purposes (EVP) course for adult students who are preparing for job interviews to be airline cabin crew. Through this Textbook, students will be able to improve their oral communication skills and gain confidence interacting in English. In particular, it will help them freely express their opinions and actively participate in discussion. In addition, they will be able to have better understanding of diverse cultures. It is the aim of the Textbook to have students gain confidence in English through practicing tasks. This will lead to more successful results with job interviews and, ideally, help students start their career as cabin crew.
- ☞ 이 논문은 저자가 원문공개에 동의하지 않은 논문으로, 도서관 내에서만 열람이 가능하며, 인쇄 및 저장은 불가합니다.
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