If you want to start teaching English online for VIPKID, you’ll need to pass a VIPKID mock class. Mock classes are a critical part of the VIPKID hiring process. It’s normal to have some questions at this stage, but after reading this guide, you’ll feel more prepared and ready to start teaching online as soon as possible!
About The VIPKID Hiring Process
Over the last few years, the VIPKID application has been through changes. Now, the process is much simpler and teachers have more opportunities to practice teaching before they meet their first students.
The VIPKID hiring process is made up of four main parts:
- Your written application
- VIPKID interview/demo lesson
- VIPKID mock classes and certification
- Filling out paperwork, submitting documents, and a background check
You’ll start the VIPKID application process by answering a few questions on the VIPKID website. This application is very basic and it is scored automatically.
If you meet the VIPKID teacher requirements, you’ll be approved quickly and you’ll receive information about the interview stage.
During the VIPKID interview stage, you’ll choose between doing a live teaching sample, submitting a recorded lesson, or doing the VIPKID Smart Demo, which is a shortened teaching sample and quiz.
I’d highly recommend you do the VIPKID smart demo option because it’s much faster than the other two. It’s also easier since you only teach one slide instead of an entire mini-lesson. You can read more about what to expect in the VIPKID interview in this post.
Once you pass the VIPKID demo lesson and interview, you’ll receive access to the VIPKID certification center in the teacher portal. This is where you’ll choose which level you want to teach and schedule your mock classes.
After passing your mock class, you’ll be able to upload documentation, submit background check information, and finalize your teacher profile. Then you’ll be ready to open your VIPKID schedule and get your first bookings!
You can read more about the full VIPKID hiring process in this post. For now, we’ll look specifically at the VIPKID mock classes.
What Is The VIPKID Mock Class?
The VIPKID mock class is a live, one-on-one practice teaching session with an existing teacher, also known as a “mock class mentor.” Your mock class mentor will pretend to be a student while you teach the provided lesson.
You’ll be honing your online teaching skills and getting feedback so that you’re fully prepared for your first student! Ultimately, your mock class mentor will decide when you are ready to become a full-fledged VIPKID teacher.
As soon as you finish the VIPKID Interview stage, you’ll be taken to the VIPKID certification center. In the certification center, you’ll receive more information about VIPKID and you’ll choose which levels you’d like to teach.
First, you’ll decide whether you’d like to work with beginner students or intermediate students. Keep in mind that you can always add more certifications later.
Then, you’ll be given two sets of mock class lesson materials for whichever level you choose. This will include a PDF of the slides as well as lesson objectives and key vocabulary words.
You’ll need to prepare for both of these lessons thoroughly. You won’t find out which one you’re going to teach until you’re actually in your mock class.
Once you’ve had time to review all the information, you’ll use the calendar feature in the certification center to book your mock class. You’ll teach your mock class in a real VIPKID classroom so you can see how the tools and features work.
Once you’ve finished your session, you’ll usually get your VIPKID mock class results via email within 1-2 days.
How Long Is The VIPKID Mock Class?
The VIPKID mock class is 25 minutes long. You’ll be teaching a 10-minute lesson in that period. For the remaining time, you’ll be able to talk to your mentor teacher and receive feedback.
How Many VIPKID Mock Classes Will I Teach?
In the past, the VIPKID mock class system was much more strict. You only got two chances (called VIPKID mock 1 and VIPKID mock 2) to impress your mock class mentor and finish the hiring process.
Now, the system has changed for the better. You can complete mock classes as many times as you need and there’s no “failing the VIPKID mock class.” You just get more chances to practice until you pass.
These days, most people teach 2-4 VIPKID mock classes before they can finish the hiring process. Again, you can take the mock class an unlimited number of times until the mock class mentor thinks you’re ready to teach real students.
Every time you teach the mock class, you’ll be working with a different mock class mentor. You will teach one of the two lessons provided for your level, but it might be different than the one you taught the first time.
Don’t worry if you have to take the VIPKID mock classes multiple times. It’s rare that people pass on their first time and VIPKID sees it as practice and teacher training. If you have to take it a few times, it just means you’ll be even more prepared when you start teaching!
Who Evaluates My VIPKID Mock Class Lesson?
Your VIPKID mock class will be evaluated by a mock class mentor. A mock class mentor is an existing VIPKID teacher who has undergone specific training to coach you through the mock classes.
During the mock class, the mock class mentor will pretend to be a young student. They will keep track of areas you can improve on and provide you with a detailed summary after the class.
What Lesson Will I Teach In The VIPKID Mock Class?
In the certification center, you’ll decide if you want to work with beginner level students or intermediate level students. Next, you’ll be given 2 possible lessons to teach for each level. This means there are 4 possible VIPKID mock classes: Beginner A and B, and Intermediate A and B.
These lessons are provided in full so you won’t have to create your own lesson. You just need to bring props and your fun personality!
VIPKID Mock Class Level 2-3 Beginner
For this lower level mock class, you’ll pretend to teach a beginner VIPKID student. VIPKID beginner students are emerging in their English language abilities.
In both lessons, you’ll be teaching vocabulary words and basic sentences. Teach the vocabulary word and have the student repeat after you several times. Then gradually teach longer sentences after you’ve taught the target vocabulary word in isolation.
It’s also important to kindly correct errors at this stage, even if they seem small. For example, if a student says, “Yes, I throw ball,” have them repeat “Yes, I throw a ball” with an emphasis on “a.”
Let’s look at what topics you’ll cover in each lesson.
VIPKID Mock Class Beginner A
This lesson is about toys and playing. Your student will learn about throwing a ball and blending words with [-ip].
Remember, when you introduce a new vocabulary word like “ball,” say the word and pause to allow the student to repeat after you. Do this multiple times for each new word before introducing full sentences. Underline any word or sentence on the screen that you’re staying so your student gets a visual.
VIPKID Mock Class Beginner B
This mock class is also about toys but in this lesson, the student will learn about kites and dolls. Students will learn to stay “I fly a kite” and “This is my doll.” Students will also practice using [fly] and [flies] in sentences.
In this lesson, you’ll also be asking and answering questions with your students. Use a puppet to teach them conversational give and take.
For example, ask the puppet, “Do you throw a ball?” Then have the puppet respond, “Yes, I throw a ball.” Turn to the student and ask them, “Do you throw a ball?” Now the student knows to answer the question instead of just repeat.
VIPKID Mock Class Level 4-5 Intermediate
This higher level VIPKID mock class has limited availability so you may not see it in your teacher portal. Even if it’s unavailable when you’re going through the hiring process, you can always add it later if it becomes available.
Intermediate level students are highly conversational. They can answer questions freely and are able to read with near-fluency. At this level, you can ask students things like “what did you do today?” and they will be able to answer in a complete sentence with occasional corrections.
In the intermediate level lessons, you don’t need to speak as slowly as you do in beginner lessons. On slides with reading passages, encourage the student to read the story independently while you underline any words they struggle with. Once they’re done reading, you can practice the words that gave them trouble.
At this level, extension is also important. If a student has a good grasp on a concept, ask them questions to extend their knowledge. For example, if you’re talking about a famous Chinese landmark, you can ask the student if they’ve ever been there and what it was like.
Mock Class Intermediate A
This lesson is about culture. The student will learn about countries, flags, landmarks, and capitals. They will also learn about contractions and the [soft c] sound.
It’s helpful to have an American flag and a Chinese flag on hand to use as props for this lesson. Ask the student about places they have visited in China and what the different flags look like for extension.
Mock Class Intermediate B
In this lesson, you’ll teach the student about keeping the environment free from trash. The student will also talk about things they do in the future using the future tense phrase [going to].
Small pieces of household trash make great props for this lesson. Ask your student about what they can do to keep their environment clean and why they think it is important to pick up trash.
VIPKID Mock Class 2021 Teaching Tips
While the specific content in each mock class is different, there are some universal things that VIPKID looks for in new teachers. Teachers should be able to create a positive, supportive learning environment that fosters student understanding. These mock class teaching tips will help you do that.
- Repetition: Repetition is important for language acquisition. When teaching a new word or sentence, the student should repeat it at least 3 times before moving on
- Keep an eye on the time: Since real VIPKID classes are strictly 25 minutes, the pacing is very important. Your mentor will watch to see that you can stay on pace and teach about one slide per minute
- Use VIPKID TPR: TPR stands for Total Physical Response. This means that you use your full body to illustrate what you mean when you’re speaking. Think of it as dramatic body language. By acting out what you’re saying, your student can understand you better.
- Limit Extra Langauge: Don’t add a ton of extra words into your sentences while speaking. Keep sentences short and simple. For example, if you were teaching the word “Cat,” Simply circle the word “cat” on the screen and say “Cat!” then point to the student to repeat.
- Correct Errors Gently: If a student makes a mistake, smile, and repeat the word or phrase back to them correctly. Encourage them to repeat after you until they say it correctly too. Your mock lesson mentor might intentionally make an error to see how you correct errors, so keep an eye out for this.
How To Teach Reward Slide In The Mock Class
On the second slide of whichever lesson you teach, you’re supposed to introduce a reward system. A reward is a little trinket or incentive that you give the student when they do a good job. This helps to keep the student motivated throughout the lesson.
Even though VIPKID has the start reward system built into the platform, they want you to use an additional reward system during your mock class. You can either use the reward they give you on the PPT slide or you can use your own.
I prefer to use my own reward that I can hold up to the camera. This is easier than having to fumble between slides throughout the lesson. You can get ideas for rewards in this post, but something simple like star cutouts or putting fish pictures in a paper fishbowl can work well too.
Even if you’re not using the reward system in the PPT, you should use this slide to introduce your reward. To do this, I say something like, “When you do a [big thumbs up] good job, you’ll get a [reward item].”
You should also use this slide to teach the student how to “drag and drop” items on the screen.
Demonstrate for them first by dragging an item across the screen with your mouse while saying “drag and drop.” Then mime dragging and dropping with your finger until they also move an item on the screen.
Usually, they pick up on this quickly once they see that the screen is interactive.
Mock Class Hello and Goodbye Slides
Use the VIPKID mock class hello and goodbye slides to build rapport with your student. On the hello slide, I usually say:
- Hello! [Big wave] Welcome to VIPKID!
- [Point to self] My name is Teacher Nicola.
- What is your name? [Pause for student response, encourage full sentences].
- How old are you? [count on fingers, pause for student response, encourage full sentences].
- Are you ready? Let’s go!
For the goodbye slide, I keep it short and simple. When we get there, I say something like:
- Wow! You did a great job today! [Big thumbs up]
- You got 5 stars! [Show the stars and count with the student if there is extra time.] Great job!
- Goodbye! [Lots of waving and high-fives]
Other VIPKID Mock Class Tips
Set Up Your VIPKID Classroom Environment
You should teach your mock lessons in an environment that is similar to what you’ll use for real classes. Ideally, you should teach from a quiet area away from distractions. Your internet connection should be at least 10mbps and you should also have a webcam, headset, and adequate lighting.
It’s also a good idea to use a VIPKID background or some decorations for your mock classes. You don’t have to do anything super fancy, but having an ABC chart or a map is a simple way to make your classroom more engaging for the student.
- VIPKID Background Ideas: Get some ideas for VIPKID backgrounds including digital backgrounds!
- Teacher Name Tag Printables: Use these free teacher name tags during your mock class.
VIPKID Mock Class Props and Rewards
You definitely want to have some VIPKID mock class props and rewards to use during your lessons. No matter which mock lesson you teach, here are some general props that will come in handy:
- Your name, written on a name tag. You can either hang this on the wall for decoration or hold it when you introduce yourself. You can download free name tags in my free resource library!
- Dry erase board, an online English teacher staple
- If you don’t have a dry erase board, you can also use a notebook with thick markers
- A puppet or stuffed animal that you can use to demonstrate conversation skills.
Watch VIPKID Youtube Videos
Youtube is a fabulous resource for preparing for your mock classes. There, you can find zillions of experienced teachers demonstrating how they would teach the mock class lessons, which can be super helpful for nailing down your pacing and style.
Practice With A Friend Or Referring Teacher
One of the best ways to practice for your VIPKID mock lessons is to run through the slides with someone else. If you have a friend or family member who won’t mind pretending to be a child for an hour, this can be a valuable way to practice pacing, TPR, and corrections.
Is There A VIPKID Mock Class Rubric?
While there isn’t an official VIPKID mock class rubric available to the public, the following areas are known to be extremely important to get a good score.
- You’re teaching in a quiet, distraction-free classroom environment
- Good classroom lighting, audio quality (check out my favorite VIPKID headset), and camera quality
- Kid-friendly decorations or background on the wall behind you
- Use at least 3 VIPKID props (should include a mix of 2D and 3D props)
- Speaking speed appropriate for student level
- Correct errors in a positive way
- Use a reward system during the lesson (every few minutes, give the student an external reward)
- Use of TPR (body language)
- Positive and smiling during the lesson
Is There A VIPKID Practice Classroom?
You might be wondering if there’s a VIPKID practice classroom or a place where you can go to test out all the VIPKID classroom features. At times, teachers have had access to a VIPKID practice room, but for some reason, it isn’t always available. Here’s a workaround you can use if you don’t have access to it in your teacher portal.
When you book your mock class time slot, you’ll actually get access to your classroom 1 hour before the mock class start time. This means you can enter the real VIPKID classroom and play around with the features.
You can test out your lighting, make sure your background is hung up in the right place, and practice using tools like the pencil and chatbox. You’ll have an hour to get everything set up and practice your mock class slides a few more times before your mentor arrives.
What If I Fail My VIPKID Mock Classes?
In the past, VIPKID only allowed teachers to take the mock class two times. If they failed the VIPKID mock class 1 or 2, they would be out of the hiring process and need to start over.
Now, the process has changed so this is no longer the case.
In 2021, you can’t technically “fail” your mock class. You get as many attempts as you need to pass it so there is much less pressure.
It’s normal to feel frustrated if it takes multiple attempts to pass. It helps remember that mock classes are intended to be practice sessions. By making it this far, you’ve already shown that you have what they’re looking for. Mock classes are just a chance to polish everything up.
VIPKID Failed Mock 1
If you don’t pass your first mock class, that’s pretty normal. Most people need more than one attempt to master online teaching techniques and get a feel for the VIPKID classroom.
If you don’t pass your first VIPKID mock class, read through the feedback left for you by the mentor teacher. Was your classroom environment set up with good lighting and audio? Did you use props and rewards during the lesson? Did you encourage the student to repeat new vocabulary words multiple times?
Keep practicing the lesson using the feedback your mentor teacher gave. Next time, you’ll have one mock class already under your belt and it will only get easier with time.
VIPKID Failed Mock 2
If you don’t pass your mock class on your second attempt, don’t worry! Again, this is totally normal and you’re improving with every session you do!
Again, look at the feedback your second mentor teacher left. Are there any areas that both mentor teachers pointed out to improve? Were there any parts of the lesson that felt tricky?
Record yourself teaching each lesson with your webcam. Watch it back to see which areas could be improved on.
You can also reach out to your referring teacher to ask for tips. It can be helpful to run the slides together or workshop particular parts of the lesson.
Don’t worry! It’s very normal to take 2, 3, or 4 attempts at your mock class with VIPKID. You won’t fail out of the hiring process or anything like that, just think of it as more practice so you’re 1000% prepared to meet your future students!
Final Thoughts: VIPKID Mock Class
VIPKID mock classes are a chance for you to practice teaching English online with an experienced teacher. Doing these lessons will help you feel more prepared when you get your first students.
If you’re still waiting to do your VIPKID mock classes, my best advice is to go for it! Get your classroom all ready, review the lesson slides, then dive in. The sooner you do your mock classes the sooner you’ll be able to start working remotely as the awesome online English teacher I know you are!