Want to work with VIPKID? They have over 3,000 online language teachers and they are currently looking for more. The company is really scaling up (Kobe Bryant even invested). It’s a fun place to work, the pay is great (up to 22$/hr) and the online community of teachers and travelers is refreshing.
I will break this blog into three parts. Things you should HAVE before the interview. Things you should SAY during the interview. Things you should DO during the teaching practicum. Read these tips but if you want to dive even deeper check out my Udemy course: Teach English Online (Anyone can do it!).
-A related degree (English, teaching, linguistics, literature etc.)
-A strong Internet connection – no interruptions – at the very least your speed should be 10 -15 mbps
– Experience working with English language learners (you must be culturally sensitive)
–Patience and a good attitude – Smile the whole time -a foreigner’s face on the screen can freak some kids out.
–Props – flashcards, toys, a whiteboard and pictures are all things to make your lesson more fun. For the interview process I recommend at least having a piece of paper and a marker – or preferably a small refrigerator whiteboard.
-Have a working camera and headset with microphone and earphones – I use a Mac so the camera is installed already, and I wear iphone earbuds because they work perfect for the microphone and the headphones.
-That you enjoy working with kids K-6
–70% student talk time vs. 30% teacher talk time – This one is important – The teacher should guide the learner, rather than explain concepts in long form. No lectures. This is the only chance these kids get to speak or “try out” their English. So if the 25-28 minutes is dominated by teacher-talk then the class is useless.
–Repetition – Discuss how important repetition is for the memory, pronunciation, practice and confidence of the English learner. In the practicum lesson don’t be afraid to make the student repeat something 3 or 4 times (or even more). No matter how awkward it seems.
–TPR – this is an ESL term for Total Physical Response. Essentially it provides context for students through action – For example: teach kids what stand up means by making them stand up 10 times – make it fun! This works with any type of vocabulary – hand motions can be used for describing words. Any memorable action associated with a new word will instill meaning for the learner.
–Be Punctual – Be on time for the interview – and your future classes it’s also so important that you END your class on time– cause there’s usually another class right behind it. They are looking to see that you end the practicum lesson on time.
–Speak Slow and clear at all times (imagine you were learning Chinese – you’d want someone to speak turtle-speed).
–Wear a plain orange T shirt- This is a requirement for teachers when they’re hired, so if you wear it in the interview they see that you’re ready to start working for them ASAP, it shows preparedness.
-In the practicum lesson you will be teaching an adult for 10 minutes. This adult will be pretending to be a child (it’s awkward, not gonna lie). Smile, be energetic, and be very patient. Make the student (the adult in this case) repeat new words in full sentences. Use your whiteboard to demonstrate a new letter or just to draw a silly face. The lessons are supposed to be fun, so be a fun teacher.
Feel free to use my referral link for the application process. VIPKID. I receive a minor chunk of change every time I refer a new teacher (and you will too, if you get hired). The truth is, I really enjoy this job and if you follow the pointers above then you have a high likelihood of landing a job with VIPkid. Good luck!