Current Teaching Positions in Alpha College
Teaching at Alpha College
Alpha College of English is a year round adult college for English language (EL) students. It also has two summer junior schools during the month of July. The first of these is residential for students aged 12-16 and is based in King’s Hospital College, Palmerstown. The second is in St Tiernan’s Community School, Dundrum, and is non residential for students aged 14-17.
Applications (CV and cover letter), by email, to the Director of Studies at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Interviews are conducted from March to June at 4 North Great George’s Street.
All teachers must hold a primary degree and a CELT or equivalent.
Teaching in the Adult School
Alpha College is a full member of the Evaluation & Assessment of Quality in Language Schools www.eaquals.org ) and IALC (www.ialc.org ) and on a national level is accredited by NQAI (QQI) (www.acels.ie ). During the academic year we have a teaching staff of 17-20 which rises in summer (July to September) to 30 -35. We have two premises, 4 North Great George’s Street and 31 Gardiner Place and we rent Belvedere College for the summer months which means that all three buildings and within a stone’s throw of each other.
The ethos of the teaching team at Alpha College is based around ‘sharing’ (sharing of ideas, materials, information and experience). Teaching at Alpha College is in teams of two. Close coordination is necessary and is assured by paid weekly academic team meetings and development sessions. Teachers follow a set of weekly objectives and undertake a weekly set project with their classes. Students’ needs are the third strand of the curriculum. Teachers are encouraged to use aspects of communicative language teaching together with appropriate aspects of task based, student focussed and humanistic language teaching methods. The course book (New Cutting Edge Digital Longman) is integrated skills based with a further focus on grammar, pronunciation and vocabulary. At Alpha there are afternoon electives 2-4.05pm (Monday to Thursday inclusive). The main options are fluency development and Business English. The focus of the courses is decidedly academic and there is a strong emphasis on daily homework.
There is a wonderful mix of nationalities at Alpha College with students from Europe, Africa, South America, Russia and Asia. Students tend to be, in the main, young professionals who are in Ireland to learn English to enhance their job prospects back home. The average student age is 25. The average stay is three weeks but some students stay up to a year. In general the year round students are kept together in the summer and the more summer oriented groups are housed in Belvedere College which is now a thoroughly modern teaching/learning environment. There is a canteen at Alpha College where students and teachers can avail of light lunches and snacks at very reasonable prices.
In the afternoons we have developed materials for our own 12 week programmes covering Business English and Fluency Development courses. There are full students’ and teachers’ libraries and access to internet teachers’ materials sites to help teachers supplement classes with relevant, appropriate material. Photocopiers, scanners, MP3 players, laptops and projectors are all available to help with the delivery of the courses.
Most teachers in the adult school have at least two years experience teaching EL. There is a highly experienced management team including mentors to help new teachers settle into the academic system. Over the first month teachers are observed twice and thereafter, there is a range of observation types on a twice yearly basis.
Alpha offers one, two and three month contracts over the summer. All teachers are issued a job offer and subsequently with a written contract once they start teaching at Alpha. Teaching rates are very competitive and teachers can be paid weekly into their bank account. 8% holiday pay is paid on completion of a short term contract. For teachers wishing to teach longer term with Alpha, contracts are awarded to teachers who have been successful in their teaching over the summer period. In general we do not employ part time teachers but prefer teachers to be teaching 20-25 lessons per week so that they are familiar with all aspects of the programmes, including social programme activities and English opportunities outside the classroom. One of the features of Alpha College which we are proud of is having achieved longevity in our teaching staff with the majority of our year round teachers staying with us over 5 years.
Teaching in the Junior School
The teaching system is based on our adult structure with classes taught in pairs from 9.30 – 1.30 pm daily.
There is a coffee break of 20 minutes* when teachers swap over to another class at another level. Both teachers have equal responsibility for all aspects of the course.
The syllabus is laid out in 20 class days which follow ten different strands including A) Irish material B) Language work C) project work D) the media E) speaking personally F) a performance G) a class reader etc.
Most students are staying for fourteen days and during that time we follow the syllabus which we hope activates the English they already know as much as possible.
One successful strand is a fortnightly class performance which allows the students to express themselves through English and brings out their competitive sides. In as much as possible we want the English spoken in the classroom to extend outside the classroom so there are worksheets on all the tours undertaken and homework is practical, based on what they are experiencing.
The students are a good mix of European nationalities and ages although King’s Hospital College tends to house the younger students because it is residential and St Tiernan’s the slightly older ones.
Teaching rates are competitive and wages include a paid weekly meeting and 8% holiday pay which is paid on the completion of the course. Teachers are provided with a strong, experienced back up team including a Director of Studies and a Centre Manager. There is a good mix of experience among the teaching team to ensure that teachers can cope with the pressures of the curriculum. Where a teacher has had a successful course with the juniors there are opportunities to teach subsequently in our adult centre.
* In King’s Hospital lunch is included for teachers free of charge.