Philosophy for ESL Development

I hadn’t realized I had a real philosophy until I did some reading and reflected on what I actually do in the classroom and why I have been successful – especially with those students deemed too difficult or “lazy”.

My deepest belief is that all students can learn what they need to learn if given the correct environment and tools they need to show their comprehension and gained knowledge.

One of my biggest challenges is reaching students and allowing them an opportunity to learn a different way of learning – and that it’s OK. One part of the manifesto I found particularly interesting was that of assessment. I have struggled with this a long time and am just beginning to realize the importance of assessment on a variety of levels. I believe technology can help achieve these levels through individual performance in a safe atmosphere – and one most teenagers today feel very comfortable in. Another aspect of assessment that I found of great pertinence – perhaps especially to ESL, but I suspect in all areas of education – is the acceptance of allowing students to repeat performance tests. Technology does this all the time with their practice tests (look at the TOEFL practice tests). Why should we be different in a classroom atmosphere? Does it matter how many times it takes a student to learn a particular aspect or that the student finally reaches an attainable goal of a passing understanding of that unit or class?
These are the questions I had when I went into this course and I have found much of the reading to be helpful and inspirinf. I do, however, that face-time with a teacher is also very important and we cannot rule that out completely. I don’t think the biggest downside of online learning, as well as possibly it’s strength, is the anonymity and solitude of the experience.
Eastern ESL Preparation for Western Education


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