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Mack-Teaching Philosophy

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Learning a second language is a worthwhile and empowering endeavor. I am committed
to teaching children Chinese and English as second languages because I believe in the potential
of biliteracy to enhance the quality of life of anyone who undertakes the process. Bilingualism
opens up a world of opportunities for students to work, live, and study abroad, as well as
prepares them to successfully interact with diverse local communities. I am confident that the
process of learning another language helps students become open-minded, confident, and
compassionate contributors inside and outside the classroom.
Because my classroom is very interactive and I incorporate a rich variety of materials into
lesson plans, my students are confident learners who are motivated to participate in class
activities and push themselves to reach high standards. As a teacher who cares about cultivating
interest in language learning in all of my students, I strive for variety in content, instruction
methods, and activities in order to reach a broader population, as well as teaching students to
develop their capabilities of using more than one way to learn new concepts. By presenting
material using a variety of methods to address a wide range of preferred learning styles, I help
students feel capable of completing assigned tasks. By challenging them to step out of their
comfort zones, I help students feel empowered to stretch themselves academically.
I work to address all four aspects of communicative competence (linguistic,
sociolinguistic, discourse, and strategic) because I understand the value of each in building
language proficiency. Acknowledging that time spent together in class is insufficient to
completely master linguistic, sociolinguistic, discourse, and strategic competencies in language
acquisition, I teach strategies to promote lifelong learning. Such strategies include accountability,
setting challenging but attainable goals, and supporting love for language learning by providing
relevant, interesting, and realistic content and activities. These strategies and features of my class
build a personal connection between the learners and the content.
In addition to learning a second language, my students apply learning strategies to their
native language such as scanning, predicting, and applying new knowledge to previously learned
material in other courses in school because I promote additive bilingualism for all learners.
Bilingual or multilingual competence and literacy helps them in all academic subjects,
establishes a stronger sense of self, and maintains a powerful connection between individuals and
their native culture.
My class is centered on communicative, content-based, and task-based language teaching
because I offer my students a fantastic variety of input in order to create many opportunities for
learners to be engaged and to be active participants in their language learning process. My
students understand that the goal of language learning is to communicate their ideas and to
interact with native speakers of the target language. Because I aim for my students to achieve
bilingual proficiency, I help them to understand the importance and benefits of being bilingual.
One benefit of learning a second language is the skills and strategies that students learn in my
class can be applied to other courses. Through cooperative learning, students not only become
active participants in class activities, but also learn critical social skills such as how to
collaborate, how to listen to and implement the ideas of their peers, and how to communicate
their own opinions.
Through usage-based learning, students interact with me and their other peers, preparing
them to encounter native speakers in culturally authentic settings outside the classroom. Just as
children acquire their first language because of a combination of their innate cognitive
Mack-Teaching Philosophy
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capabilities and multiple opportunities to experiment with language across a variety of contexts, I
know my students are capable of learning a second language and that these speaking
opportunities need to be provided to them. It is not enough to hear a fluent or native speaker of
the language talk for hours on end, students need exposure but they also need chances to use the
language to accomplish meaningful tasks.
As a teacher I recognize that errors in students language production reflect the
development of their second language development. Therefore, I am not disheartened when
students make mistakes. I strive to use these errors to inform my teaching practices and make
instruction more accessible, comprehensible, and meaningful. I also help students understand
that making mistakes is part of the language learning process, and is evidence of their evolving
comprehension.
I prepare students for language assessments by helping them develop their academic
language, while also attending to the assessment of their abilities to communicate in casual
settings with informal language. My assessments of students measure their ability to
communicate personal opinions on a variety of topics, as well as their ability to express
information in the target language in a presentational format. Through prochievement tests to
assess speaking, listening, reading, and writing tasks. This test format goes hand in hand with
communicative language teaching. Class curriculum is reflected in all assessments to maintain
the flow of the course. All components of the course are interconnected, which allows students to
feel confident and prepared.
Knowledge is power. I believe that the best way to empower children is to guide them in
building their knowledge of themselves and the world. I care deeply about literacy and providing
quality education to all children. Training students to interact with other cultures and customs
involves so much more than learning a language. It is to learn about another way of life, to open
our eyes to the unfamiliar and see the goodness therein, and to make connections to the
worldwide community. I am committed to my students and acting as a partner and a guide in
developing their interest, appreciation, and love of studying foreign languages and culture
through lifelong learning.