Teaching a Demo Class

Information you need to not embarrass yourself or others: - How large will the class be? (This determines which activities you choose.) - What’s their approximate level of fluency? Is the group mixed-levels? (This determines your level of frustration at teaching the class.) - What materials do I have to work with? (Parents and students form an opinion of our school and classes largely from demo classes. Bring balls, props, and a lot of other things unrelated to the English language.) Sample Demo Lesson Plan for Young Learners (40 minutes):  Ask each student his or her name. Smile broadly, as if you were in a minstrel show. Ask students interesting questions, like those you typically get at English Corners from university students:  How are you?  Where are you from?  Do you like China? Ask the group how they are. They’re probably “Fine, thank you, and you?” Go to the board and draw three smiley faces (neutral, happy and ecstatic).  Explain to students and parents that the answer to “How are you?” varies, depending on how a person is. Write “Terrible”, “Great!”, and “Very, very, very happy!” next to the appropriate smiley faces.  Throw a ball at the nearest assistant, modeling an exchange of greetings.  Throw the ball to students, and ask them how they are. Students can then throw the ball at one another.  Students may stand up and form a circle. Hold the ball and say, “I am very happy.” Hand the ball to the next student, who will say the same and add one “very” (“I am very, very happy.”) Ss practice until they’re blue in the face. Point to your body parts - eyes, ears, mouth, legs. Most students are familiar with these terms. Correct hilarious pronunciations and look professional, but not callous.  Ask students how many eyes, ears, mouths or feet they have. Older students can be asked how many eyes, ears, mouths or feet are in the room.  Play Simon Says (or any other physical activity or game). Interrupt the game before students get restless or bored. At this point, you should be at roughly the thirty to forty minute mark (allowing that ample time has been spent smiling and reassuring parents, and giving instructions). Thank the parents for attending the demo.

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If you’ve done all of that, and have ten to twenty minutes left anyway:  Try tongue twisters. Simple tongue twisters work regardless of student level, and require no preparation time. Write them one at a time on the board and let students and parents have at. Two favorites:  “Blue sheep, black sheep.”  “Sixty-six sick chicks.”

Renato Ganoza for EF Zhengzhou, 2008

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