Reflective Letter

As a student teacher of language, I have come to the realization of many challenges that both the instructor and the student undergo with regards to teaching and learning second language respectively. Nonetheless, I find that the guidance that my teacher Jennifer provided has been instrumental in shaping my knowledge and experience as an educator. I look up to Jenifer’s decisive and incisive teaching methods that have done much in shaping my understanding and knowledge about teaching language to foreign speakers. Her explanations about inductive and deductive options of teaching approaches based on the age of students is one attribute of intelligent instruction that I note is imperative to enhancing student’s understanding. Although so far I have only had three sessions with Jennifer, I yearn to acquire more knowledge from her since her teachings are eye-opening aside from being very engaging and fun. As such, I have enjoyed each of her classes based on her approach to teaching where she essentially uses fun as a mechanism to enhance understanding an attribute that I enjoy very much.

Moreover, Jennifer’s approach of learner’s participation keeps the class lively as it also allows for collaborative learning where individual students take an active role in solving problems and completing tasks. To that end, learning takes place in a social environment where the class made of various ethnicities ends up developing friendships across a myriad of differences. The experience of mini lessons gave me the opportunity to engage with my fellow classmates and improve collaborative learning. I also found the present, practice, produce method used by Jennifer quite invigorating as it gave me the challenge of learning and practicing what I learned about grammar and language pedagogy in general. A notable memory that I have of my sessions with Jennifer is her theoretical concepts of administering learning. As such, I found that through strategic theoretical instruction, she was capable of gradually imparting knowledge and; hence, expand my knowledge horizons.

In that respect, I can think a myriad of examples of situations where I was in awe at how approaches to teaching second language to L2 learners can have significant consequences. For instance, the realization that parents who speak different languages will have an adverse impact on the language development of their child made me think of how difficult it is to reconcile differences that exist in native languages when attempting to learn a new language. In that regard, I noticed that among the various theoretical concepts that my instructor Jennifer discussed, the Vygotsky Scaffolding Theory proves to be the most efficient, based on my opinion, when administering language concepts to L2 students. I find this theoretical approach quite compelling based on the premise that it capitalizes on the provision of support to enhance the learner’s understandings of concepts. For instance, use of templates and guides was something I found quite helpful in putting the learner on the right track as far as the grasping of concepts presented is concerned.

As such, the Vygotsky’s Scaffolding Theory proves critical to taking advantages of resources including learner’s own native language as a support in enhancing understanding. In contrast, I do not find the direct theory approach to teaching language effective since it only focusses on the target language which may prove difficult to comprehend without attaching meaning of words based on the foundation of the native language of the learner. As I mentioned earlier, collaborative learning proves quite critical in the development of my knowledge of teaching and learning English as a second language. Notably, when I was observed by Professor Megan Smith while teaching an eleventh grade class, I noted the relevance of the theoretical concepts that my instructor Jennifer had taught me earlier as I put them to practice. Nonetheless, I note that more improvements are needed in my mode of deliver to improve learning.

The experiences that I have had with my instructor, as well as the experience of being reviewed while teaching a class by a professor Megan Smith, have both shaped and nurtured my theoretical and practical skills as an L2 educator. I believe that I have since gained impeccable knowledge and skills that I did not have prior to joining the class which I note have made me a competent educator attributes that I eagerly look forward to implementing in my future practice.