VIPKid – Preparing for Mock Class (Lower Level)

There is no better way to meet VIPKid’s expectations than to clearly know what those expectations are.

Congratulations on deciding to certify for lower level classes with VIPKid! This certification will allow you to teach Level 2 Interactive (the most popular level with VIPKid!) as well as Level 3. Always remember that there are materials provided in the teacher portal that can help you prepare for, and review, the course curriculum at any time. To get started, here’s what you need to know. Please note, this is current effective March 2019.

Before you begin, I suggest reviewing the VIPKid Teacher Applicant Performance Indicator. VIPKid will send this to you before your mock class, and your mentor can also provide you with a copy. This will tell you exactly what your VIPKid mock class mentor will be scoring you on. There is no better way to meet VIPKid’s expectations than to clearly know what those expectations are.

1. Prepare for both lessons. There will be two different lessons (A&B) provided in the classroom.  Your mock class mentor will choose one of the two lessons for you to teach during your mock class, so please be sure you prepare for both!

2. Review the objectives for both lessons.

  • For <u>option A</u>, the goal is to teach the words “ball,” “throw,” and to blend phonemes z/r/s/h (onset) with -ip (rime.) You want to avoid a lot of words that don’t specifically support these objectives
  • For <u>option B</u>, the goal is to teach the nouns “kite” and “doll” and the verb “fly.” You will also be teaching target sentences “Do you fly a kite? Do you throw a ball? Do you swing in a swing?” with the goal being to have the student answer “Yes, I ______,” or “No, I don’t ______.”

3. Plan your reward system for both lessons.

Rewards are a hot topic with many teachers. There is a built-in reward system in all VIPKid curriculum. With Interactive Level 2, the reward is interactive, and the student can manipulate the items on the screen as part of their reward. If you ask 100 teachers how they use (or should use) the rewards, you will get 100 different answers. Honestly, that’s one of the great benefits of VIPKid is that students can learn differently with different teachers! My suggestion for the mock class is to build a custom reward that can be used WITH the interactive reward slide. That way, all your bases are covered. An ideal reward system:

  • Is fun!
  • Is visible at all times during class!
  • Supports the learning objectives!
  • Engages the student!

Be creative… if you love it, so will your students (and your mock class mentor!)  For specific ideas on how to get started, check out these posts:

4. Plan your props for both lessons.

It is important to have props that you bring to class to reinforce each lesson. It is recommended that you use at least three props, and at least two different types of props. Here are examples of different types of props:

  • Printed or Drawn (2D) props: flash cards, printed pictures, drawn pictures
  • Realia or 3D props: real items from your home that relate to the lesson, toy versions of items in the lesson
  • Digital props: gifs, google slides images that you display
  • Other props: whiteboard, magnetic letters

You will want to plan your props for both lessons in advance and practice with them on camera. It’s important to practice on camera so you are comfortable holding items closer to the camera or further away. Most laptops allow you to record sessions directly from your built in camera which is great for you to watch yourself and adjust.

Similar to rewards, find and use props that YOU enjoy. If you are excited about them, your students will be. Here are some ideas to get you started:

5. Anticipate Possible Errors

As you are planning your props, it’s a good time to anticipate what errors a student might make. If you are in a live mock class with a mock class mentor, I promise they WILL make mistakes just to ensure you catch them and are comfortable correcting them. If you are recording a demo, you will want to pretend that your student made a mistake to demonstrate how you could correct an error. Props are a great (and positive) way to help correct errors.

Here are a few ideas on common errors you might anticipate in each of your certification classes:

6. Plan your TPR for both lessons.

TPR is one of the fundamental building blocks of ESL. For most of us, it doesn’t come naturally, so it is important than you plan TPR and practice it. When I was first preparing to become an ESL teacher, I followed a three step process.

  1. Plan. I reviewed each slide and practiced different TPR techniques that I could use on each one. This got me comfortable making the motions.
  2. Practice. I practiced this TPR any time I had the chance. (My prime platform was my shower!) I didn’t memorize it all, but I got used to the common gestures I planned to use. The more you make the movements, the easier they will become.
  3. Preview. I recorded myself using my webcam practicing my TPR. That helped me get used to how big my gestures needed to be while still remaining on the camera. I found out which gestures looked the most precise and crisp and I was able to change those that did not convey a clear meaning. I can’t stress enough how helpful this step is. If you record yourself, your mentor can watch it and give you feedback, but you’ll also be amazed at how much you will notice. For example, even just waving goodbye looks so much better when you hold your hand stiff with your fingers together! The only way you can know this is by watching yourself in action!

7. Download the Teacher App and update your laptop’s flash and Chrome. VIPKid recommends using the Teacher App for all classroom activities, and it is also my tool of choice. If there is a problem, teaching through the Chrome browser is a good alternative, so have all of this updated and ready before you begin.  It also wouldn’t hurt to restart your computer or ipad.

8. Allow yourself time to go into the classroom and practice before you begin. VIPKid will give you access to a practice classroom, and I suggest using this so you get comfortable in the VIPKid environment. This will become second nature to you once you have taught a few classes, but it’s great to get your feet wet before your certification.

9. Set up your “classroom.” You do not need to spend a lot of money to do this, but you will want to put some thought into where you will be doing your mock class certification.

  • The background that will be visible in the video frame should create a learning atmosphere. VIPKid defines this as having visible props, an uncluttered, designated area, and having a space optimized for teaching.
  • You will want to be sitting or standing an appropriate distance from the camera so you can be clearly visible at all times, and your camera should be at eye level so it feels as though you are making eye contact with your student.
  • Lighting should be balanced with no shadows or significant glares on you or your props.

10. Review the application performance indicator (again.)  This is so important, it bears repeating.  There is no better way to meet VIPKid’s expectations than to clearly know what those expectations are. I was new to teaching in a formal class environment, and new to ESL, but I prepared extensively using this tool, and My VIPKid Interview Results were great. I passed my mock class certification the first time. I say this not to brag, but to help reassure you if you are feeling uncertain or overwhelmed.

The preparation time doesn’t have to be extensive, just intentional.  I hope that this guide helped you get ready for the process, and I would be happy to personally guide you as your mentor.  If you are interested, please apply using my referral link or add my referral code (AMELI0055) to your application.

Good luck!

 

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Possible Errors: VIPKid Lower Level Certification (Option B)

Congratulations on deciding to certify for VIPKid Lower Level certification!

If you are in a live mock class with a mock class mentor, I promise they WILL make mistakes just to ensure you catch them and are comfortable correcting them. If you are recording a demo, you will want to pretend that your student made a mistake to demonstrate how you could correct an error.

Below are some common mistakes you might anticipate if you are teaching Option B, as well as some ideas for how to correct these. (Check out Option A here.)

To avoid redundancy, there are not items on every slide since the students repeat many of the same words and sentences. As a general rule, I listed the possible error on the slide where it is FIRST likely to appear, but it could happen any time!

Slide 19 (kite/doll)

  • Student does not pronounce the long “i” sound correctly in “kite.” It’s not uncommon for them to say “kit” at first.  To correct:
    • Use a whiteboard or magnetic letters to show “kit” and then add an “e” and say “kite.” You might also have a picture of a “bossy e” that you hold up.
    • Be sure to avoid incidental (extra) language here. Instead of saying “Remember, when you add an “e” then the “i” is a long “i” sound.” all you have to say in words is “kit. kite.”  or at MOST “kit. bossy e. kite.”
  • Student does not pronounce the “l” sound correctly. To correct:
    • Use TPR and exaggerated mouth movement to demonstrate the correct pronunciation, and have the student repeat again.
    • Use a whiteboard to break up the word into onset and rime: d-oll. doll. Have the student repeat each portion, then blend them.
    • Use magnetic letters to break the word into onset and rime. Have the student repeat.
  • Student omits a word. To correct:
    • Underline each word and have the student repeat each word before attempting the whole sentence again.
    • Repeat, emphasizing the word they omitted with a funny voice.
    • Possessive pronouns are often omitted, so it might help to have the word “my” printed out so you could hold it up if they omit it.
    • Use your fingers to count each word when you say the sentence, and then again when they repeat.

Slide 21 (He flies …)

  • Students sometimes omit the “s” when conjugating verbs.  To correct:
    • Have a magnetic letter or printed “s” that you could hold up.
    • Use TPR and exaggerated mouth movement to demonstrate the correct conjugation.
    • Hold up a verb chart and point to “He flies” to emphasize it.
    • Have a pronoun reminder ready for “her.”

Slide 22-23 (verb conjugation)

  • Student has trouble with verb conjugation. To correct:
    • Have a verb conjugation chart ready to hold up to help them if they use the wrong version of the verb. (I/You/We/They fly. He/She/It flies.)

Slide 25-26 (Do you ____?)

  • Student forgets to say “Yes” or “No.” To correct:
    • Have visual reminders for yes/no
    • Use TPR (thumbs up/thumbs down) to remind them to say yes or no.
  • Student does not answer in a complete sentence. They only say “yes” or “no.” To correct:
    • Nod and smile, and then repeat, emphasizing the last part of the sentence.
    • Count the words in your response by holding up your fingers, then count off again as the student repeats.
  • Student does not answer correctly. For example, when there is no one in the empty swing, they say “Yes, I swing on a swing.” To correct:
    • Circle the error. Look with a questioning look and say “yes? or no?”
    • Cross out the error and say the correct target sentence. “No, I don’t swing on a swing.”

Slide 27 (Do they____?)

  • Student uses the incorrect pronoun. To correct:
    • Have a pronoun reminder handy (they/he)

Slide 27 (free talk)

  • Student forgets the target word or sentences learned earlier. To correct:
    • Revert to the original prop used to introduce the sound.
    • Provide a “fill in the blank” option to help trigger their memory.

 

When correcting errors, it’s important to remember a few things:

  1. This is VERY important to VIPKid parents. They are paying for their children to learn proper English, so they do not want to see us reinforcing bad habits.
  2. Correction should always be upbeat and positive. Negative reinforcement will cause a student to participate less and be afraid to try. Always keep corrections very upbeat.  To do this, you can:
    • SMILE!
    • Keep a happy tone of voice.
    • Give lots of positive reinforcement once they get it right.
    • Don’t correct more than a couple of times on the same slide. If they make a mistake, correct it two times, and then move on (but try to focus on it in subsequent slides.
  3. Error correction is the perfect time to use your TPR and your props. If a student is doing excellent on a topic, they won’t need as much extra help, but if they are struggling, these additional tools can really help in the learning process.

I hope you found this helpful.  If you have questions, please let me know in the comments. If you would like feedback on your own error correction, I would love to be your mentor and help you through the process.  Feel free to sign up using my referral link. You can also add my referral code (AMELI0055) to get started.

Good luck!

Possible Errors: VIPKid Lower Level Certification (Option A)

 

Congratulations on deciding to certify for VIPKid Lower Level certification!

If you are in a live mock class with a mock class mentor, I promise they WILL make mistakes just to ensure you catch them and are comfortable correcting them. If you are recording a demo, you will want to pretend that your student made a mistake to demonstrate how you could correct an error.

Below are some common mistakes you might anticipate if you are teaching Option A, as well as some ideas for how to correct these. (Check out option B here.)

To avoid redundancy, there are not items on every slide since the students repeat many of the same words and sentences. As a general rule, I listed the possible error on the slide where it is FIRST likely to appear, but it could happen any time!

Slide 6 (ball)

  • Student does not pronounce the “l” sound correctly. To correct:
    • Use TPR and exaggerated mouth movement to demonstrate the correct pronunciation, and have the student repeat again.
    • Use a whiteboard to break up the word into onset and rime: b-all. ball. Have the student repeat each portion, then blend them.
    • Use magnetic letters to break the word into onset and rime. Have the student repeat.
  • Student omits a word. To correct:
    • Underline each word and have the student repeat each word before attempting the whole sentence again.
    • Repeat, emphasizing the word they omitted with a funny voice.
    • Articles are often omitted, so it might help to have a magnetic letter or printed “a” that you could hold up if they say “She plays with ball.”
    • Use your fingers to count each word when you say the sentence, and then again when they repeat.

Slide 7 (He plays with a ball)

  • Students sometimes omit the “s” when conjugating verbs.  To correct:
    • Have a magnetic letter or printed “s” that you could hold up.
    • Use TPR and exaggerated mouth movement to demonstrate the correct conjugation.
    • Hold up a verb chart and point to “He plays,” or “She plays” to emphasize it.

Slide 9 (throw/s)

  • Students incorrectly conjugate “throw” or omit the “s”. To solve:
    • Hold up a verb chart and point to “She throws,” or “They throw” to emphasize it.
    • Have a magnetic letter or printed “s” that you could hold up.
  • Student uses the incorrect pronoun.
    • Have a pronoun chart you can hold up.
    • Have a picture of pronouns (pictures or words) to hold up.

Slide 12 (phonics)

  • Student incorrectly makes the letter sound. To correct:
    • Use TPR and re-emphasize the sound. (Be sure you aren’t saying the letter here. For example, we do not say “R. ip. rip.” We say “rrrrrrrrrr. ip. rip.”
    • Use magnetic letters, flash cards, a whiteboad or leggos to give a visual representation of how the sounds come together.
  • Student confuses the words. “rrrr. ip. zip.” To correct:
    • Provide a visual representation of the sounds.
    • Hold up the incorrect letter and say the sound with questioning TPR.

Slide 13 (free talk)

  • Student forgets the target word or sentences learned earlier. To correct:
    • Revert to the original prop used to introduce the sound.
    • Provide a “fill in the blank” option to help trigger their memory.

 

When correcting errors, it’s important to remember a few things:

  1. This is VERY important to VIPKid parents. They are paying for their children to learn proper English, so they do not want to see us reinforcing bad habits.
  2. Correction should always be upbeat and positive. Negative reinforcement will cause a student to participate less and be afraid to try. Always keep corrections very upbeat.  To do this, you can:
    • SMILE!
    • Keep a happy tone of voice.
    • Give lots of positive reinforcement once they get it right.
    • Don’t correct more than a couple of times on the same slide. If they make a mistake, correct it two times, and then move on (but try to focus on it in subsequent slides.
  3. Error correction is the perfect time to use your TPR and your props. If a student is doing excellent on a topic, they won’t need as much extra help, but if they are struggling, these additional tools can really help in the learning process.

I hope you found this helpful.  If you have questions, please let me know in the comments. If you would like feedback on your own error correction, I would love to be your mentor and help you through the process.  Feel free to sign up using my referral link. You can also add my referral code (AMELI0055) to get started.

Good luck!

Prop Ideas – VIPKid Lower Level Certification (Option B)

Congratulations on deciding to certify for VIPKid lower level classes! These are so much fun to teach. Because you will be working with younger students, props are especially important to help reinforce the learning.

As I mentioned in VIPKid – Preparing for Mock Class (Lower Level), there are several types of props you can choose from.  You should be prepared to use at least 3 props and at least 2 different types of props.

Common types of props include:

  • Printed or Drawn (2D) props: flash cards, printed pictures, drawn pictures
  • Realia or 3D props: real items from your home that relate to the lesson, toy versions of items in the lesson
  • Digital props: gifs, google slides images that you display
  • Other props: whiteboard, magnetic letters

Be creative and find things that you can use that you enjoy. I would also encourage you to not spend a lot of money on buying props. I PROMISE that you have things around the house that you can use without spending money.

Here are some examples for Option B that you can use to get started! (Check out Option A here.)

Slide 19 (kite/doll)

  • Real kite or doll
  • Printed or drawn pictures of kites and dolls

Slide 20 (She flies a ____. This is her _____.)

  • Real kite or doll
  • Printed or drawn pictures of kites and dolls
  • Flash card with the word and/or picture of kite and doll

Slide 21 (What is it?)

  • Real kite or doll
  • Printed or drawn pictures of kites and dolls
  • Flash card with the word and/or picture of kite and doll
  • White board or flash card with question and answer

Slide 22 (fly)

  • Real kite
  • Printed or drawn pictures of kites
  • Gifs of someone flying a kite
  • Verb chart for “fly” (I fly. You fly. We fly. They fly. He flieS. She flieS. It flieS.)

Slide 22 (fly)

  • Real kite
  • Printed or drawn pictures of kites
  • Gifs of someone flying a kite
  • Verb chart for “fly” (I fly. You fly. We fly. They fly. He flieS. She flieS. It flieS.)

Slide 23 (listen)

  • Ear (to hold up during listen)
  • Mouse (to demonstrate drag/drop)
  • Verb chart for “fly”

Slide 24 (Do you _____?)

  • Yes and No flash cards
    • Green and red
    • Thumbs up and thumbs down
    • Yes and No
  • Picture of someone throwing a ball and swinging in a swing
  • Gif of someone throwing a ball and swinging in a swing

Slide 25 (Do you _____?)

  • Yes and No flash cards
    • Green and red
    • Thumbs up and thumbs down
    • Yes and No
  • Picture of someone throwing a ball and swinging in a swing
  • Gif of someone throwing a ball and swinging in a swing
  • Pronoun flash cards (he/she/they)

Slide 26 (free talk)

  • Kite (real or pictures)
  • Ball (real or pictures)
  • Pronoun flash card (she/they)
  • Target sentence “Yes, they fly a kite. Yes, she throws a ball)
  • Verb chart for “fly” and “throw”

With props, the possibilities are endless, and I encourage you to think about what you have around the house that you can use. Props do NOT have to be time intensive or expensive. They are just supplemental items that you can use to help reinforce the lesson.

For printed and digital materials above, I have samples that I can send you to use in your mock class if you would like. Simply sign up using my referral link or add my referral code AMELI0055 before your mock class. Comment below with what you would like help with, and I will be able to get your email address from your referral application.

Good luck!