Decoded – The Secret Language of VIPKID

Secret Language of VIPKID

Sometimes teaching for VIPKID feels like it requires learning a whole new language: MC, SNS, TNS, T, LC2, C1? What does it all mean? Have no fear! Teacher Caryn EU is here to help you learn the secret language of VIPKID.

The first set of words to learn are the different types of classes and their codes.

MC = Major Course

MC stands for “major course”; it does not stand for “master class.” Once you are out of “trial jail,” most of the classes you will teach will be MC classes. This is the program that the majority of VIPKID students use. So far, there are six levels. Level Seven is just starting beta testing and will be out in the next couple of months. It is invite only and has its own special set of requirements. Also, this past month, VIPKID started rolling out interactive classes for Level Two. If it’s an interactive class, it will actually say “interactive” next to the lesson name.

T = Trial Lesson

In addition to teaching major courses, you will also teach trial classes. Since VIPKID always wants new students to sign up, trial classes are a chance for students to try out the program and see if they like it. The goal is to try to convert the trial and get the student to sign up. If you do, you’ll get a niffy $5.00 bonus.

Be aware, potential students can take three trial classes (more if there are IT issues or they don’t show up, which is quite common). Only the last teacher who teaches that student before they sign up gets the bonus. If you are the first teacher and they sign up after their third class, you don’t get the bonus. The third teacher will get the bonus.

WC = Winter Camp

During February and March, VIPKID offers a special program called Winter Camp. Many students have the whole month of February off from school because it’s Chinese New Year. To entice students to continue taking classes during their break, VIPKID offers the Winter Camp program from February through March. These classes are geared more towards speaking and conversation. There are three levels:

  1. Beginner
  2. Intermediate
  3. Advanced

To teach these types of classes, you must complete a training in your teacher portal. You don’t have to sign up to teach them, but it can help increase your bookings if you are struggling to fill all your open spots.

S1 = Summer Camp

Just like during February and March, VIPKID offers a special summer camp program in July and August. For this type of class, the beginner and intermediate classes are together in one PPT. The lesson has parts for beginner students and parts for the higher-level students. The theme for these classes was going to summer camp. Again, like winter camp, the focus was to promote speaking and conversation that the student might not normally get during a MC.

In order to teach these classes, you had to be certified by taking a training in your teacher portal. Last summer, to increase the number of teachers who chose to certify to teach summer camp classes, VIPKID had a raffle incentive.

S2 = TOEFL Class

Last summer, in addition to the summer camp classes, VIPKID started offering TOEFL classes for intermediate and high level students. What exactly is the TOEFL? Well, I’m glad you asked.

The TOEFL is a test which, “measures the ability of non-native English speakers to use and understand English as it’s read, written, heard and spoken in the university classroom” (https://www.toeflgoanywhere.org/what-is-toefl). Basically, if you are a non-native English speaker and would like to attend an American university, you will most likely have to take and pass the TOEFL exam.

VIPKID realizes that attending an American University is a big goals for many of our students; therefore, they want to help prepare VIPKID students to eventually take and pass this test by teaching them test taking strategies, academic vocabulary, and reading skills.

This type of class is dramatically different from all other VIPKID classes. It is interactive with sound files to play for the student. It also doesn’t necessarily have a theme like “My Family” or “Stranger Danger.” It is strictly teaching test taking skills and academic vocabulary that the student would need to pass the TOEFL exam.

Not every teacher likes TOEFL classes, but I personally found them really interesting to teach. To teach these classes, you must be certified. I believe that VIPKID is starting to offer these types of classes throughout the school year because there is quite a demand for TOEFL preparation.

C1 = Old Curriculum

Every once in a blue moon, you will see C1 listed in the course code. C1 stands for the old, or original, curriculum. Most students have transitioned to the new (MC) curriculum, but there are a few rare exceptions. I have taught over 1,300 classes and have only taught two C1 classes. I am very thankful for that, too. The C1 classes are a bit rough, and VIPKID vastly  improved the curriculum by creating the MC classes.

Interesting to note, the level six classes are actually based off of the old level five curriculum. Also, the lessons you use in your interview and mock lessons are mostly based off of the C1 curriculum. That’s why you never see an “Activity Time!” slide in the MC lessons.

Breaking the Code

Each class has its own special code, which looks something like this: MC-L2-U4-LC1-5. When looking at your schedule in either the app or the classroom, you will see the course code listed next to the name of the class.

Happy Teaching!

Teacher Caryn EU

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