Show off your Skills with a Demonstration Lesson

A No-Worries Guide to the EFL Demonstration Lesson

You’re a newly minted English teacher, and you’re looking for that first job. You get a call back, but—uh,oh—they want you to do a demonstration lesson when you come in for your interview.

Now, they said, “demo lesson,” but you’re thinking it’s more “demon lesson.”  Should you be scared? No, way.

While much feared by newbie teachers of English as a Foreign Language (EFL), a “Demonstration Lesson” is a common part of the hiring process in some countries, and is an excellent opportunity for you to strut your teaching stuff.

At first glance, a demonstration lesson is an uncomfortable scenario. Sometimes the school trots out some fake “students” (usually other teachers or school office staff) to watch your lesson and, occasionally, ask you typical learner questions. But really, this is nothing to be feared. Don’t worry about it, just show off what you know.

Prepare for your demo lesson knowing that your prospective boss isn’t just looking at your academic qualifications. They also want someone who is personable and extroverted, who smiles, and who is able to make a decent lesson plan and motivate and lead students through their tasks.

Know Before You Go

If you’re scheduled to give a demonstration lesson, here are some questions you should ask:

1. For whom is the lesson is intended?

2. What is the students’ skill level?

3. What target language or topic should you teach?

4. How long will your lesson need to be?

After you get the answers to these questions (and they might even let you decide those answers) you need to make a clear lesson plan. Bring two copies of it (not forgetting to attach any handouts) with you to the demonstration lesson. One copy is for you, and one is for whoever will be observing your performance.

Execute your plan with care, making sure your board work is clean and readable. Carefully keep your teacher talk time in check.

You need to realize that, for some employers, being amiable and good at working with others is valued as highly when hiring as your ability to teach. So, during your demonstration lesson, emphasize those attributes as well as your classroom skills.

When you go in, dress appropriately (don’t forget to put on your biggest smile, too),and look confident. They may want you to teach the full lesson plan, but often your prospective boss will see you know what you’re doing and will have you stop after only a few activities.

TED’s Tips™ #1: Practice, Practice, Practice

Don’t just wing it—practice your lesson over and over before the demonstration lesson. If you can, get an experienced teacher to observe you and give you some advice.

TED’s Tips™ #2: Do an In-country TEFL Course

If you take a teacher training course in the country in which you intend to work, you’ll have a great opportunity to develop and refine a “demo” lesson and get the input of your teacher trainer and course-mates.

Remember, be confident, wear your best smile, and you’ll be fine.

Teaching Internships in China