It was during my early days in the United States when I realized that my ESOL teacher was far from ordinary ones, she was a real talent, a person who does not only teach, but a person who explains all the nuts and bolts of the language. First and foremost, she gave me a very strong background, based on grammar and lexicology; and later her main goal was to teach me how to ‘feel’ the language – intonation, emphasis and subtext. Due to her methodology I have become a person I am now as a native speaker of the English language. Moreover, she taught me that it is essential to ‘dive’ into the language to be able to reach success in the learning process. From now on I am convinced that if I am honored of an opportunity to become a TESOL teacher in Korea, first of all I will give students a strong background and foster love to English.
From my point of view, it is essential that students are motivated and given a boost in their learning process. Though each and every student is very different, the methodology should be based on equality – students should have sense of ability to learn and achieve tangible results. Not only should they be given opportunities to explore their abilities to surpass and compete, but also apply their language learning experiences in other areas of their studies. Every student deserves at least a chance to reveal his inner potential to reach success in the classroom, as well as outside of it. Success can be successful or unsuccessful depending on how goals are set and measured. However, I will explain and teach my students that with determination and patience they will be able to reach their goals throughout their life, let alone English classes. Moreover, I do want my students to understand and feel the value that they can contribute to the society.
To my mind, there are several tasks, which every teacher should set himself to achieve results: firstly, they should give students practical knowledge, which can be useful in daily life. Secondly, it is important that teacher assesses students’ capabilities to direct ‘the teaching machine’ in the right direction. Needless to say that it is teacher’s responsibility to understand student’s needs and focus on the appropriate level. Not only should a real professional maximize learning and minimize gaps of understanding by applying various strategies in the classroom, but also give student-centered instruction to engage them and activate their learning process. Communicative methodology should be used to push students to interaction, discussion and conversation, at the same time enhancing speaking and communicative skills. It is important to let students into the teaching process: they are to correct errors themselves; with the help of open- or closed-ended questions students should develop their understanding; they should work with materials independently if they are engaged in the activity. Moreover, teachers should make English learning fun and interesting, implementing games, songs, video lessons and other interactive activities. Generally, due to different learning background and perception, teacher should use various teaching methods, techniques and materials in classroom to enhance learning.
Currently, I am a volunteer ESL teacher at one of the English language centers in the metropolitan areas of the United States. Despite the fact that my work is informal and I am teaching only in small groups, I have already helped my students practice and improve their language skills. I mostly specialize in adult students of different proficiency levels, where many students have six years, or even lees, of education in their native language. Moreover, I am volunteering as a math teacher in the after-school program in one of the low-income communities. Students in this community are very different: many of them lack basic fundamental concepts of both mathematics and English to enable them learn at the current grade level; others do not have any opportunity to go back and strengthen their already existing skills. However, even though such kind of work is a real challenge, I realize that I provide them with an opportunity to enhance their skills to the needed level so that they could progress in the classroom. I should admit that there is nothing more satisfying than to inspire students and help them build their self-confidence. I would like to be more involved in teaching and be part of the teaching community by becoming an educator. Even though I lack classroom teaching practice, I believe that my experience as both ESOL teacher and a language student and past business career in various fields can make positive contribution to the classroom.
Based on my experience as a TESOL teacher, I think there is no single teaching method that works singly for the students. A single method cannot teach all the students and I believe that learning needs to be dynamic. I am convinced that to help students reach success in the learning process I possess all the necessary skill. I am open to try diverse roles with students and tune into their interests and needs, as well as give them positive influence in learning.
With regard to job opportunities in Korea, I have pondered much of such a step. Korean culture and traditions have always attracted me, and I am convinced that such a brilliant chance will not only give me an opportunity to teach and be helpful, but it will also enable me to learn, as I am convinced that teacher is not only teaching, he is also learning during the process. As an ESOL student in the United States, I have come to understand the needs and challenges every ESOL student is experiencing. That’s why I do have an ability to grasp the needs and reach students. I have a desire to enhance students’ English learning experience and provide them with a direction so that they could prepare for future.
Knowledge of other languages opens new opportunities and gives students perspectives that they might never have encountered otherwise. I do hope that once my students would be able to study abroad and work internationally, as well as participate on the international stage. I do want to share my American cultural experience with students in Korea and contribute my experience to improve results of students’ achievements. I want to help them build strong background in English the way as I was taught in the United States – my only desire is to give back what was given to me.