ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Teaching English in Japan - ESL Demo Lesson Ideas

Updated on September 5, 2015
Teaching English in Asia often has no requirements other than a Bachelor's Degree - but mock lessons are a good way of judging potential teachers.
Teaching English in Asia often has no requirements other than a Bachelor's Degree - but mock lessons are a good way of judging potential teachers.

ESL Demo Lesson Plans - How to Start

Teaching English in Asia is a dream for many. Whether it's to travel for a few years, or embark on a new career path, countries such as South Korea, China, and Japan are popular destinations for people to find ESL jobs.

Many entry level positions can be had with simply a college degree from an English speaking country - but of course, soft skills like cultural adaptability, dealing with culture shock, and people skills are vitally important.

To that end many ESL companies and programs - such as EPIK in South Korea or Interac or the JET Programme in Japan - will require you to put on a demo lesson to show some of your teaching abilities to your interviewers.

Applicants for these programs are often just starting out with their journeys teaching English abroad - so putting on a perfect lesson plan isn't necessarily the goal. It's still important to put forth your best effort, and show your interviewers that you are adaptable and enthusiastic about ESL teaching.

In some cases, experienced teachers may be asked to put on demo lessons as a part of their jobs - to show school staff what their teaching is like. I have had to put on several of these for past jobs teaching in South Korea.

This article goes over a few tips for demo lessons for both interviews and during the job itself. In the interest of disclosure, most of my ESL teaching experience has been in Japan and South Korea, but this article may be helpful for teacher hopefuls all across Asia.

Interview Preparation and the Mock Lesson

As I wrote above, demo lessons are an important part of many interview processes for English teaching positions. There are several ways that interviewers may ask you to prepare.

Demo Lesson Ideas - Before the Interview

It's not uncommon for many English teaching programs to send you a brief outline for you to work with so you can prepare. Some may give you a choice between several outlines or basic lesson ideas for you to expand on.

One company I interviewed for gave me a choice between Elementary and Junior High mock lessons, for example. In this case, all I had to do was write out a detailed lesson plan to show my interviewers - no actual teaching was required at the interview. However, I had to write the lesson plan as if I was working with an actual Japanese teacher, and include this person in the teaching and activities. Those who are familiar with the team teaching system of Japanese public schools know how this works.

Demo lesson ideas in cases like these are not so hard to come up with, as half of the work has already been done for you. Do keep in mind that for many teaching jobs in Asia, the emphasis is on English classes being fun and interactive for the students - almost like edutainment rather than regular teaching. The outline you receive will likely ask you to throw in a few activities, especially if you are applying to teach younger students. Private English cram schools in particular have a lot of emphasis on edutainment, in my experience.

A good, basic sample lesson in an ESL classroom often looks something like this -

1. Greetings and Introduction of the Day's Topic

2. Teaching the Material Through Flashcards or Visual Aids

3. A Game, Activity, or Song - the latter especially for younger learners

4. Final Review - perhaps another activity, worksheet, or some reinforcement of the material

That is of course incredibly simplified - many demo lessons will be a bit more detailed than that - but it is a good rule of thumb when preparing mock lessons.

Mock Lessons During the Interview - Without Preparation

It's not unheard of for you to have to write and teach a demo lesson after an interview, perhaps with no prior notice. For me this tended to happen more after I got some ESL teaching experience already under my belt, though it can happen to new teachers as well! Even in interviews for related jobs you may be asked to teach one - I've heard of one interview for the CIR position on the JET Program where the interviewee was asked to prepare a lesson (as many CIRs teach as part of their duties).

So even if you haven't been asked to prepare anything, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with ESL teaching a bit before heading to your interview just in case. Look up demo lesson ideas online, and also English teaching materials to get an idea of what kind of material is commonly taught in Asian classrooms.

If you are an experienced teacher, it might be a good idea to also bring some of your past lesson plans and materials to an interview. I brought one of my favorite Powerpoints I made to an interview with a private company, and even though they had their own set curriculum they were very impressed.


During the Interview Itself

Most job interviews are already nerve wracking experiences - adding a mock lesson doesn't help, especially if it's your first teaching job! But there are a few things to keep in mind in order to help you ace the demo lesson.

As noted above, many ESL jobs in Asia are more like edutainment than anything. So presenting an energetic, positive face is half the battle here. That doesn't mean you have to act like a clown, just enthusiastic and prepared.

If you need any particular materials, make sure they're prepared before the interview - place them neatly on a desk for easy access during the lesson. If your interview is just handing in a lesson plan itself, make sure that you're ready to discuss your plan and the reasons you made certain choices in it - for example why you're using a particular activity for that material.

Sometimes you may be asked to prepare a video lesson depending on circumstances. For example I had a Skype interview once as the interviewers were unable to meet me in person - so I had to send them a video recording of a lesson for them to see (again, according to their requirements).

Even though this is "just" a video mock lesson, make sure you are dressed professionally. Setting up your camera to record your body and the surrounding area is important, and speaking clearly is even more important than a regular demo lesson. Other than that a video shouldn't be much different than doing it in the interview itself.

What's your experience with ESL mock lessons?

See results

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • wiserworld profile image

      wiserworld 

      2 years ago

      Great tips for a demo lesson. There are so many resources online for lesson ideas but this was especially useful. Cheers!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)