Teaching Demo Lesson Tips to Ace Your Interview

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Job interviews can be tough – especially if you don’t know what to expect from the interview! Did you know you might need to do a demo lesson during an interview for a teaching English as a foreign language (TEFL) job?

Say what?!

Yep, during a TEFL interview you might be asked to do a demo lesson to demonstrate your teaching skills.  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. 

But before your blood pressure hits the roof, let’s look at the whole interview process. 

How to apply for a TEFL job

  1. Search for jobs online (top tip: use our handy Jobs Board)
  2. Fill in the application form – don’t forget to check your grammar and spelling!
  3. Be invited for an interview – online or face-to-face
  4. Ace the interview (and your demo lesson)
  5. Sign a contract – be sure to read the fine print, and pack your bags.

Because they are so important in a job interview, here are our top demo lesson tips to help you ace your TEFL interview. 

 Demo Lesson Tip 1: 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 forwards, backwards and inside out! Plus find out exactly which aspects of the present perfect an Intermediate student needs to know.

Read more: The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages

Demo Lesson Tip 2: 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! 

Read more: PPP in The EFL Classroom

top demo lesson tips to ace your TEFL interview

Demo Lesson Tip 3: 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.

Read more: Top Tips for Effective Lesson Planning

Demo Lesson Tip 4: 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.

 

Demo Lesson Tip 5: 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.  

Read more: Common EFL Interview Questions

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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