Teaching English as a Foreign Language: Experiences Essay
Teachers hold a critical but significantly undervalued purpose in modern society. With the wider availability of information and developing communication technology, the perception and role of teachers are rapidly changing. There are various challenges as well as rewards that are inherent to the job. In order to grow and improve as a teacher and a person, it is essential to reflect on my personal feelings and education practices that define them as a unique instructor.
Being a teacher is a lot of responsibility and accountability. Those with any experience of education realize that the job requires not only the mastery of the subject being taught but also an understanding of human psychology, necessity to maintain self-control, and upkeeping utmost organization. To be honest, it is overwhelming and exhausting at times. However, the job brings incredible satisfaction and tremendous pride in the profession. There is the excitement of planning and executing projects with your class or taking advantage of a new teaching method that a more experienced educator has shared. The most rewarding moment is seeing a student’s eyes light up after comprehending a complicated topic that they have struggled with and finally understanding how a concept works.
I have had a variety of teaching experiences, ranging from working as a tutor to coaching tennis. In each position, there were nuances and learning curves in the teaching process and approach to students. However, once I became accustomed to the job, it became a passion. The famous maxim attributed to Confucius, “choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life” applies to my experience with teaching. The profession fits with my identity of helping people and giving back to the community. Good teaching is more than a simple transfer of information and skill. It is based on empowerment and support for students, as a teacher can provide the opportunity and confidence to apply their knowledge. I believe that teaching fits perfectly with my caring and supportive character that seeks to empower others to achieve their objectives.
Through this course, I have been able to learn about a wide variety of practices for teaching English as a foreign language. Linguistics can be quite difficult, and it requires an approach that would maintain student interest and encourage participation. Some of the sessions in the course that focused on needs analysis and exploiting dialogue are techniques that can be tactically applied in a learning environment. They increase participation and student awareness of the practicality for their knowledge of English. The use of “do-it-yourself” grammar lessons that encourage independent thinking and utilization of learned knowledge is an effective method to support the difficult acquisition of English grammar. Furthermore, I would like to practice certain techniques such as gamification or the “teach-back” approach that would provide some diversification to traditional instruction methods and would be used to reinforce specific concepts.
I believe that there are no wrong teaching methods. In a real-life classroom situation, one can never know what particular approach can be helpful for individual students to understand a concept. However, there are some aspects that I believe would be inappropriate in teaching English as a foreign language. For example, relying on self-learning as the foundation for language learning (as it is commonly done in many college courses) is ineffective since it would discourage the systematic approach necessary in linguistics. Furthermore, I believe that placing students in situations where they would feel forced or uncomfortable to perform dialogues should be done with caution to prevent discouragement. Language acquisition is a long-term process which should occur naturally and supported by the classroom teaching methodology.
Overall, teaching is my passion, and I look forward to being able to practice it on a daily basis. Participation in the Peace Corps teaching program will also provide me with an opportunity to make a difference in the world and empower individuals with knowledge of critical language skills. Despite the possible challenges that come with the position, I remain optimistic as it will help to contribute to my personal growth as well.
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Teachers hold a critical but significantly undervalued purpose in modern society. With the wider availability of information and developing communication technology, the perception and role of teachers are rapidly changing. […]