Published 26th October 2019

Finding a job that you would like to have, in a place that you would like to live is hard, and then you still have to go through the job interview! Job interviews can be tough. We all know we need to be well-prepared but that can be difficult if you don’t know what to expect from the interview. When you are applying for a TEFL job there is a high chance you will be asked to do a demo lesson. This can be an in-class demo if you are at the school for the interview, or it can be a Skype demo if you are being interviewed at home.  Because they are so important in a job interview, here are our top tips to ace your demo lesson.

Know what you are teaching

The first step towards acing a demo lesson is to make sure you know exactly what you are teaching. This might sound stupid but you shouldn’t assume you know everything about a topic or a language point just because you’ve dealt with it before or you looked at it during your TEFL course. If, for example, you are tasked with teaching the present perfect to an Intermediate class, make sure you know the present perfect well enough to explain it backwards! Plus find out exactly which aspects of the present perfect an Intermediate student needs to know.

Plan your lesson

Once you know what you are teaching, you need to plan how you are going to teach it. For your demo lesson, don’t try anything new or crazy. Rather stick to the basics and make sure you execute your plan well. When planning your lesson, come up with a warmer activity and then follow the PPP lesson plan model. First, present the language. Then have an activity which allows your students to practise it. Finally, have an activity which gives them free rein to produce the language. That’s it! 

Don’t forget your Plan B!

Once you have planned your lesson you need to consider alternative options in case things don’t go according to plan during the lesson. Maybe you need to think of a different warmer just in case they don’t respond to your original one; or maybe you need to have a 5-minute game up your sleeve in case you have extra time at the end of the lesson. Remember, deviating from your plan is not a problem (it happens all the time) but not being able to deviate from the plan when necessary, is.

Practise your lesson

You may feel a bit dumb but you need to practise your lesson before your demo lesson. You don’t necessarily need to find students to teach it to but go through the lesson (aloud) as you think it would progress. While you can’t predict how your students will react and what questions they may ask, this will help you practise what you are going to say at each stage of the lesson.

Troubleshoot your lesson

Finally, you need to think of all the possible what-if situations that can take place during your lesson. What if your students only speak their language? What if one student is really disruptive? What if your students don’t understand your language explanations. Imagine the scenarios and come up with ways in which you would handle them appropriately and effectively. Even if they don’t happen during the lesson, your interviewer could ask you afterwards how you would have handled it.  

And that’s all there is to it! So if you are asked to do a demo lesson for a TEFL interview, don’t freak out! Just follow these tips, and thank us when you get the job!

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