PME in Primary Interview
The interview is a key component of the application to the Professional Master of Education (PME) in Primary Education. As for any interview process, preparation is key. Here, we offer some tips on how to prepare for the PME in Primary interview. If you are applying to the PME in Post-Primary Education, read about how to Prepare for the PME in Post-Primary Interview.
Hibernia College interviews applicants to ensure they hold the skills, disposition and motivation to succeed on the PME and assesses their level of Irish to confirm they have the language skills required for the programme. The standard of Irish required is high and applicants should be aware of the demanding nature of this programme. Students on the PME complete two Nua-Ghaeilge modules and, because Irish is a primary school curriculum core subject, a very good command of the language is required to become a teacher.
The PME in Primary interview consists of a 20-minute general component in English and approximately 10 minutes of an Irish oral component. Applicants can choose whether they begin with the general or the Irish component, each of which is conducted by a different examiner.
In the general interview component, you will be asked about your PME application. The examiner will assess your communication skills, motivation, interpersonal skills, organisation and planning, preparation and professionalism, suitability to teach and your personal statement. The interviewer will probe the candidate’s ability to demonstrate excellent oral language skills and to go beyond pre-prepared content.
The Irish oral component is a 10-minute dialogue that assesses your use of tense and grammar, your vocabulary and verb usage and your general level of comfort speaking the language. You will be asked questions about a variety of topics such as your interests, why you want to be a primary school teacher, your undergraduate degree, the Irish language and how you prepared for the interview.
IRISH ORAL COMPONENT PREPARATION
We advise consistent practise to improve your Irish skills. Prior to your interview, you should be speaking Irish conversationally for at least 30 minutes per day. The best way to practise a language is with others. If you have a family member or friend fluent ‘as Gaeilge’, schedule regular times to chat. Additionally, you could speak regularly with a conversation partner or group. You could even find a ciorcal comhrá (conversation circle) or join an Irish book club such as Club Leabhar: Irish Language Book Club.
There are also many ways to practise alone. Write possible interview questions on cards and turn them face down. Pick a card at random and answer the question out loud for as long as you’re able. Record yourself with a smartphone or other device. After a few questions, review your recorded answers and analyse how you could improve. Note any additional vocabulary you could use. Find ways to integrate new vocabulary into your life by labelling items in your home with Post-it notes and changing your device settings to Irish, if possible.
ENROL IN A COURSE
There are courses designed specifically to prepare Hibernia College applicants for the Primary interview. You may find this type of personalised feedback useful. The Dublin Academy of Education offers one such interview preparation course online. In addition to courses and study notes, participants take part in mock online oral exams and receive feedback. Learn more about this course here. You could enrol in the Irish language college Gaelchultúr’s online interview courses, which offer mock interviews with graded feedback to identify the candidate’s main strengths and challenges.
EXPLORE GAEILGE RESOURCES
There’s a wealth of free Irish resources available online to support your preparation. Some of these resources include multimedia material to help with listening and reading. Refresh forgotten vocabulary and learn new material with some of the following sites: www.tuairisc.ie, www.nosmag.com, www.teanglann.ie (online dictionary), www.aistear.ie, www.tg4.ie, www.rte.ie/rnag, www.raidionalife.ie. There are some wonderful podcasts in Irish such as Beo ar Éigean, An Spota Dubh and Motherfoclóir.
PREPARE FOR YOUR FUTURE CAREER
Remember that your efforts preparing for your PME in Primary interview will also help prepare you for your future career. As a primary teacher, you will use Irish frequently. The higher your language proficiency in the interview, the more comfortable you’ll be when you reach a classroom full of leanaí (children). Head here for more information about preparing for the Irish oral component of your interview. You can also join our Dublin Open Day on Tuesday, 29 March to learn more. Register your attendance at the Open Day.