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Ellii's Comprehensive Guide to Nailing Your Demo Lesson

July 19, 2022

Are you looking for a new teaching job? Will you be asked to deliver a demo lesson?

Many schools and organizations require job candidates to teach a demo lesson as a final part of the interview process. During your demo lesson, managers or administrators will observe your teaching skills and determine whether you will be a good fit for the students and school. 

To help you get ready, we've put together this comprehensive guide on how to prep and deliver a top-notch demo lesson with confidence. 

We'll go over...

8 questions to ask before your demo lesson

Before you rush into making plans for this part of the interview, it's a good idea to do a bit of homework by asking yourself the following questions: 

  1. Will the students be real learners or staff pretending to be students?
  2. Are the students young learners, teens, or adults?
  3. What level will the students be? (See Equivalency Scale)
  4. Approximately how many students will there be? (Bring extra handouts and share with the interviewer(s) too.)
  5. Is there a set grammar target or function to cover? 
  6. How long should your demo lesson be?
  7. Will the lesson be delivered in person or online
  8. What tech and tools will be available? (Find out if there's Wi-Fi, speakers, a whiteboard, markets, etc.)

6 tips for delivering a successful demo lesson

At a recent panel discussion on demo lessons with Bridge Education Group, presenters shared these six tips: 

  1. If you're not given a specific target to teach, choose a low-intermediate (A2) target. It's easier to level up than down.
  2. If you're not given a specific topic, grammar is a safe target. Try to find a way to make it fun or memorable. Include visuals!
  3. Be mindful of the time you have. You may only have 20 minutes. Cut out any parts of a lesson that aren't needed and focus on the essential parts of a lesson that you learned in your teacher training (warm-up, presentation, production, and practice).
  4. Find a way to showcase your strengths as a teacher. 
  5. Use class time wisely. Make sure to use activities that get students talking but also highlight your ability to teach a concept. (Give feedback too.)
  6. Keep your lesson low-tech. If you're planning on using audio or video, make sure you have a backup plan if something goes wrong. If you're teaching online, make sure that you understand the platform fully.

5 ways Ellii can help you prepare for and present a demo lesson

A comprehensive materials provider like Ellii is a must-have for new teachers. But Ellii can help you even before you get your first teaching job.

1. Ellii helps teachers gain confidence teaching tricky grammar targets 

New teachers often struggle with confidence, especially when it comes to teaching grammar. If you're going to teach grammar in your demo lesson (a safe choice for a language target), be sure that you understand how to teach it.

Ellii's grammar posts offer lots of tips on how to teach different grammar points. You could even choose a target to teach in your demo lesson based on one of Ellii's blog posts. In the comments, you'll find lots of commonly asked questions that teachers and learners have. Make sure you're ready to answer a few questions about the target. Find a corresponding lesson in Ellii's Grammar collection.

If you've never taught the target before, try teaching it to some friends or family members before you step into the classroom. And you can always reach out to the Ellii team via our blog posts if you have a specific grammar question. 

2. Ellii has ready-made visuals and charts that teachers can use in an in-class or in-person demo class (and beyond!)

simple past vs. past progressive chart

Simple past vs. past progressive chart

You don't have a lot of time to prove yourself in a demo lesson. You may also not have a lot of teaching experience. 

Don’t waste time writing out a lot of long explanations or grammar charts. Find some ready-made visuals and talk your students through them or project them in the classroom and encourage students to take notes or annotate

Here are some places to find visuals:

3. Ellii offers multi-level lessons on a wide variety of topics and targets

Show that you're prepared for students who are at different levels. Think of ways to make your lesson easier or more difficult or find similar lessons that are at different levels. Keep in mind that it's easier to make a lesson more difficult than it is to make it easier.

Look at a Super Simple Grammar lesson compared to a Grammar Practice Worksheet lesson or Fun Grammar Lesson on the same target. Then look at a Grammar Stories lesson or Basic Grammar Sentences lesson to learn about teaching grammar in context.

4. Ellii has a wide variety to choose from, allowing teachers to showcase the importance of needs assessment 

An important part of teaching is finding out what students' needs and interests are.

With Ellii, you can offer a little choice to the learners in a demo lesson. Do they want to learn about fruit or vegetables? Would they like to practice present progressive while going on a picnic or to the park? Do they want to learn how to follow instructions at the doctor's or at the pool

5. Ellii has activities, assessments, and reflections to help you close your demo lesson in an impactful way

Showcase your understanding of assessment and reflection by leaving time for a short review or reflection.

You can play a fun game like Hot Seat to review some vocabulary or share an exit slip or short reflection to gauge how you did in your demo lesson.

5 recommended topics and targets for demo lessons

  1. Vocabulary (All Ages): Fruit or Vegetables (could pair with "like" and "don't like")
  2. Grammar (Young Learners): Morning or Evening Routine (simple present)
  3. Grammar (Teens & Adults): Adjectives (See full lesson.)
  4. Function (Adult Newcomers): Going to the Supermarket or Going to the Bank 
  5. Function (Business English): Making Introductions at Work or Making Small Talk

5 suggested Ellii resources for demo lessons

  1. Grammar & Usage: Choose or review a target from Ellii's most popular blog section.
  2. Grammar Videos: These videos can help you understand the target before you teach it. Visit our YouTube channel if you aren't an Ellii subscriber yet.
  3. Language Scenes: See Teachers' Notes for ideas on how to use these. Digital versions are in color and useful for online demos.
  4. Flashcards: Bring visuals to class! Review How to Create & Save Flashcard Sets.
  5. Exit Slips or 3-2-1 Reflection: Impress your interviewers by getting feedback from students, especially if the students seemed engaged.

Want to learn more about Ellii's content and courseware platform and how it can help you teach a better class? Register for a free webinar today.

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