This is Noga, Rennert International’s Academic Director, giving a bit more guidance in terms of what to teach in a demonstration lesson for a possible employer.
Noga: Hi everyone! My name is Noga and I am the Academic Director of Rennert International based in New York City. What I would like to talk to you about today is what to do when you are giving a demonstration lesson. Usually when new teachers go through an interview process at a school, the school will always ask them to come in and give a demonstration lesson to its students to see how the teacher performs in front of the classroom. Normally, the demonstrations…these demonstration lessons are not long. Sometimes they’re 15 minutes; sometimes they’re 20 minutes; sometimes they’re 30 minutes, but they usually don’t go past 30 minutes. The demonstration lessons that we ask new teachers to give here at Rennert are 30 minutes long. So here are some ideas for what to do and maybe what not to do during a demonstration lesson.
If your demonstration lesson is going to be grammar focused—if you are going to focus on a specific grammar point, keep in mind that you are going to have a very limited amount of time. So, choose a grammar point that can realistically be covered and practiced within the 30 minutes. So, this doesn’t necessarily have to be a new grammar point for students; it can be something that they already know, but that you’re just reviewing—a different aspect of the grammar with them. Or if you are going to be teaching students a new grammar point, just focus on one aspect of that point. You don’t have to teach it completely because you only have 30 minutes. However, if you are going to be teaching a grammar point, make sure that your presentation, your grammar presentation, is clear and understandable…that you are evaluating the students properly and that you’re giving the students appropriate practice activities—follow-up practice activities that allow them to use the grammar point in a real-life context and in a meaningful way.
For a demonstration lesson you don’t necessarily have to do a grammar point. You can also teach vocabulary. You could have a mini vocabulary lesson. However, if you are teaching students new vocabulary you have to make sure that you limit the number of new words. In a 30 minute lesson, perhaps you could introduce 5 or 6 words. And if you are going to be teaching students a vocabulary lesson, make sure that you have appropriate comprehension check questions that you ask; make sure that you allow the students to use the words in sentences and that you give your students, again, follow-up practice activities where they can use the vocabulary in a real-life context. You don’t want to just introduce the words and that’s it. You want to make sure that the students are able to practice them as well.
Mini demo lessons, demonstration lessons, don’t necessarily have to focus on grammar or vocabulary either. You can teach a mini pronunciation lesson; you can teach a mini reading lesson; you can teach a mini speaking lesson; you could teach a song! You could teach a haiku…you could teach a poem! There are a lot of different things that you can do in a demonstration lesson. But the most important thing to remember is to make sure that that demonstration lesson–that what you are teaching in that demonstration lesson is realistic and can be covered within the time frame that you have. So don’t overwhelm yourself and don’t overwhelm your students and you’ll be fine. Hope this helps! Good luck!