My Educational Philosophy for the ESL Classroom

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Teaching and learning a second or foreign language is much like teaching in the general education classroom. ESL classrooms need structure, nurturing, and sufficient instructional strategies. With such diversity among adolescent ELs, it is important for teachers to learn as much as possible about their students’ background, prior knowledge, and experiences, and to have knowledge of strategies that directly address the needs of their students. Instructors need to build relationships of trust with their students and their families. Also, teachers need to establish predictable classroom routines and procedures. Students can put their focus on content and activities when they know what to expect and are familiar with classroom routines. Teachers model routines and procedures by creating opening and ending procedures, procedures for distributing materials, positing agendas and schedules. It is important to keep in mind that ELs bring creative, capable minds which can process higher-order thinking and learning although those minds need strategic support, explicit instruction, and positive reinforcement to further promote learning. In the ELL classroom, several effective methods will promote and foster English acquisition, include modeling, rate of speech and wait time, use of nonlinguistic cues, giving instructions, and encouraging development of L1. Modeling promotes learning and motivation by developing self-confidence. It helps them “believe that they too, will be successful if they follow the same behavioral sequence.” (CITE p. 10- 29). Modeling is one way for teachers to provide students with comprehensible input in order to help students process content more “deeply and comprehensively” (CITE p. 10- 30). Teachers should model... ... middle of paper ... ... grammatical errors. However, as an educator in the classroom accuracy must be taken into consideration when assessing speech to further promote grammatical advancement. Therefore, both accuracy and fluency are valid in the ESL classroom and they should be assessed based on the objective of the lesson. The teaching and learning design of ESL is much like the general education classroom. The classroom should entail structure, a sense of community, establish routines and procedures, and adequate resources. Some influential resources are classroom libraries, peer tutors, and basic technology. In addition, teachers need to recognize, research, and appropriately address any non-desired behavior. Teachers do have the power to make a difference in a student behavior. Lastly fluency, accuracy, and even error corrections should correlate to the objective of the lessons.
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