Reward Ideas – VIPKid Lower Level Certification (Option A)

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.

You will need to prepare for two different options: A and B. You can see more about the preparation process HERE.

Part of preparing for each is to have a good reward system in place!  I want to encourage you to be creative and come up with something that you love, because if you love it and are excited about it, your student (and your mock class mentor) will be too!

It’s important to note that since the reward slide is the same for both options, you could use the rewards interchangeably. I am a bit of a prop over-achiever because I think it’s SO FUN, so I wanted to provide options that are unique to both.  So, in addition to the ideas for option B, you could do the following for Option A (My Toys – ball/throw.)

  • Print or draw pictures of each of the toys on the shelf. Each time the student is allowed to pick a toy on the reward slide, use tape to stick the picture of that toy on the wall behind you.
  • If you have kids, find toys that are similar to those in the slide. Each time the student picks a reward, show them a real toy.
  • Pick out a toy that you especially like (I would use the ball, since that is a target word for this lesson.) Have pictures (or real balls) of different colors that your student gets each time they earn a reward.
  • Find gifs that relate to each toy on the reward slide. When they pick an item, they get to watch a cute gif. (You can display these on your phone or on an ipad.)
  • Find gifs or pictures of different sporting activities (balls, people throwing and catching balls, etc.)
  • Print two pictures of each toy and write the phonics letters on each part. For example, on the two boats, you could write “z” on one and “ip” on one. When the student picks the boat, you make the boats ‘crash’ into each other and say the phonics word. “zzzz…..ip. zip.”

I will be recording a few examples of these in the next few days, and I will add that link here.

If you are a prop enthusiast like I am, you’ll be super excited right now. Not all of us are. 🙂 There are plenty of teachers who are proud to be “prop minimalists” and if that’s you, you might be thinking “What have I gotten myself into?” Rest assured that if props are not your thing, you don’t have to construct this elaborate of a reward system for every single class. If you want to, you certainly can! But while you DO need to have rewards, they can be far more simple or you can use the resources available from those of us who love to make them!

Speaking of which, if you are looking for a mentor and would like some help creating your own reward system or using one of these, I can absolutely help! Just sign up using my referral code, and I can provide links to the printed options above and a google slides reward that I put together for the gifs. You can sign up using my referral link or by adding my referral code AMELI0055 after you have applied but before your mock class. Just comment below and let me know what you are interested in, and I’ll be able to get your email from the referral portal and reach out to get you started!

I hope this was helpful, and good luck!


VIPKid – Teaching Vocabulary and Target Sentences

Whether you are completing an express demo lesson, a mock class, or are teaching a class, VIPKid always includes target vocabulary words and target sentences. These will be identified in your lesson (or interview) objectives, and you will find a style of teaching that helps you teach these consistently and easily.  Below are a few of my helpful hints.

Know the objectives.

I know this sounds obvious, but you should always be sure you are familiar with the target word and sentences.  For example, I recently taught a lesson about parts of the face. In each lesson, the student learns two new vocabulary words like eyes, ears, nose, mouth, etc. The target sentence for each is “I _____ with my _____.”  Simple, right?

Remember that we are teaching children a new language, so misplacing even one word can be detrimental. In the example above, my target sentence was “I taste with my mouth.” At one point, I accidentally said, “I eat with my mouth.” While this is true, to someone trying to learn the word “taste,” this could suddenly confuse them.  So know your vocabulary and your target sentences.

Repeat each new vocabulary word at least two times.

Before introducing context and sentences, it’s important for the student to hear and repeat the vocabulary word alone two times.  Clearly say the word (with TPR), and have the student repeat it. Do this again before moving onto the target sentence.

Give your student enough time to respond.

Remember, an ESL student might take more time to process and prepare than we do, so be sure you allow time for the student to respond. You can nod encouragingly to be supportive while not speaking to interrupt their thoughts.

Use TPR.

Even if you are using props, TPR is still a very important part of learning new vocabulary. ESL learners benefit by linking action with speech, so do not omit this step! I usually try to vary the TPR to give the student as much visual context as possible, so I might use one motion the first time I said the word and a different motion the second time I said the word.

Use props.

Any time you can use a prop or realia to help reinforce new vocabulary, this is helpful. This could be a printed or digital picture, a gif, a real object, a toy, or something on your whiteboard. You will find the props that suit your classroom style that fit with your students’ preferences! If you use a prop early when teaching a word or a sentence, if a student struggles to remember it later, you can show them the same prop to help trigger their memory.

Adjust to your student.

If a student is struggling to repeat an entire sentence, you might need to break it up into manageable portions. A sentence that my students often struggle with is in the unit about having fun with friends. The sentence is “I swing on the swing.” For some reason, my students often struggle, so when we practice it, we start with “I swing” and once they repeat that, I add “on the swing.” Once they can say both individually, then we combine them.

Be sure to correct errors.

Don’t be afraid to correct errors. Pronunciation, omitted words, and grammar are all very important to students and their parents. Remember, you can correct them in a positive, upbeat way but they are here to learn English, so make sure you aren’t supporting bad habits!

Don’t get bogged down.

Sometimes a student really struggles with a word or a sentence. You have a finite amount of time to complete the lesson, so don’t feel that you have to stay on the slide until they have reached perfection. Teach, correct, and practice, but if they simply aren’t getting it, move on. They will have ample time in upcoming slides and lessons to keep practicing the concept.

I hope this is helpful as you are getting started. If you have any questions, please let me know in the comments! If you are just thinking of becoming a VIPKid teacher and would like some help with the interviewing process, feel free to use my referral code.  I would be happy to help you.