Native English speakers may think that teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) is a walk in the park. While this may be true for some, others may need something to guide them if they want to stay in the industry for the long haul. That’s where an ESL teaching philosophy can come in handy.
This guide will come in the form of a teaching philosophy. And at this point, there may be a lot of questions in your mind about English teaching philosophies and how to make them.
Well, those questions will be answered. So, continue reading if you’re planning to make teaching ESL a career. An ESL teacher philosophy may also be necessary when applying for certain jobs, so get ready to impress!
What is an English Teaching Philosophy?
A teaching philosophy is a written statement of your personal view on teaching. If you’re planning to apply for a teaching position in colleges and universities, you may be required to submit your teaching philosophy. Aside from your view on teaching, the philosophy also reflects the teaching methods you’ll use in class.
A teaching philosophy also shows your values and beliefs when it comes to teaching. These are personal statements allowing the students to know you as a teacher. It should also show the reason why you’re a teacher as well as what you bring to the table.
By giving the students an idea about you and your principles, they will know who you are as a teacher and how you approach learning.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 122 Pages - 02/23/2020 (Publication Date)
Importance of an ESL Teaching Philosophy
Before you write a teaching philosophy, you should know why it is important. The following points show the importance of having a teaching philosophy.
- As indicated earlier, your teaching philosophy serves as your guide in your teaching career. It allows you to remain true to your profession and focus on why you became a teacher in the first place.
- A teaching philosophy expresses your values and beliefs as a teacher. It shows who you are to your students and gives them an idea of what your class will look like.
- It also gives you an idea of where you are trying to go and how you will get there. In other words, it shows your goal and how to attain that goal.
- If you’re applying for an ESL teaching job in a college or university, you may be asked to submit a teaching philosophy statement. Due to this, preparing way ahead of time will put you one step closer to an ESL teaching job.
Steps in Writing an ESL Teacher Philosophy
The following are the steps you can follow to write your own ESL teaching philosophy.
#1: Define Roles
The first thing you should do is to define your role as a teacher in the classroom and the role of the student in the classroom. Defining these roles sets the tone on the flow of learning in the class.
- Teacher’s Role
As a teacher, you have the option of being a facilitator, a scholar, a conductor, or an instructor. Each role is different in terms of how the classroom is run. They also differ in how learning happens in class.
For instance, an instructor provides instructions on what the students will do and expect them to strictly follow the rules in the classroom. On the other hand, a facilitator guides the learning process of the students and takes into account their challenges in absorbing the lessons in class.
- Student’s Role
Aside from your role as a teacher, you should also define the role of the students in the classroom. Do you consider them as empty vessels that have to be filled up with knowledge? Or are they unlit candles that you have to light to enhance whatever knowledge they already have?
The students may even be community members who are responsible for their own learning as well as the learning of their classmates. The role of the students is normally consistent with your role as a teacher.
#2: Define Concepts
After defining your role and the role of the students in the classroom, you should define learning and teaching concepts. These are essentially how you view learning and teaching in the classroom.
- Teaching Concepts
In addition to the roles in the classroom, you should also define your concepts of teaching. You should decide if you want to promote competency, mastery, critical thinking, lifelong learning, or transformational learning.
Additionally, you should set the benchmark on how you view an ideal learning situation. At this point, you should also decide the materials you need in class, student activities, and lesson plans, among others.
- Learning Concepts
When you define the concept of learning, you should define what learning is for you. You should decide what a successful learning environment should be. Moreover, you should also set the standard when learning and mastery are achieved by the students.
You should also define the goals for your students to achieve. It should include the skills they should learn or the changes in behaviour resulting from the learning process.
#3: Methods of Teaching
Once the roles and concepts are defined, it’s time for you to decide the methods of teaching you’ll be using in a class. At this point, you’ll have to consider the different strategies you’ll use to teach your students.
You may use simulations, interactive lectures, task-based learning, or game-based learning, among others. You should not limit yourself to one strategy since students learn in many different ways. Due to this, the strategy should meet the needs of your students.
More details here: Approaches and methods in language teaching.
#4: Learning Assessment
The last part of the ESL teaching philosophy should touch on assessment. You should decide how you can assess student growth and learning.
While assessing learning in ESL teaching may be straightforward, you should also consider that the students are different when it comes to learning capabilities. In this case, you should have several assessment tools ready to ensure you’re able to assess the students properly.
- Amazon Kindle Edition
- Bolen, Jackie (Author)
- English (Publication Language)
- 94 Pages - 05/30/2015 (Publication Date)
Guidelines for Writing a Teaching Philosophy
Knowing the steps is not the only thing you should consider when writing your teaching philosophy. There are some guidelines you may want to follow when you create your philosophy. The guidelines are as follows:
- Write the philosophy from the first-person point of view. This will personalize your teaching philosophy and show who you are as a teacher.
- Make the philosophy short and properly expressed. Keeping it short and simple while using the appropriate words to express it will convey your message properly.
- Similar to writing your objectives in a lesson plan, you should also be specific with your teaching philosophy. Provide tangible examples to give the reader an idea of what you’ll be inside the classroom.
- Use simple and easy to understand terms rather than jargon. This allows you to convey your message better.
- Put your students in a positive light when mentioning them in the teaching philosophy. But, don’t sound patronizing. You should also avoid being pretentious and show how you can also learn from them.
- Revisit your teaching philosophy regularly. Avoid being static since teaching is constantly evolving. You should adapt and update your teaching philosophy regularly. A teaching philosophy is a statement that is constantly a work in progress.
Even as an ESL teaching philosophy may be challenging to make, it’s essential since it provides you with a guide in your long journey through the world of ESL teaching.
ESL Teaching Philosophy Examples
If you want to see some real-world examples, have a look at some of our favourites:
Or, have a look at this one we put together:
Sample ESL Teaching Philosophy
As an ESL educator, I am committed to fostering an inclusive and engaging learning environment that empowers students to become confident, effective communicators in English. My teaching philosophy is grounded in the belief that language learning is a collaborative and dynamic process that should be student-centered, culturally sensitive, and reflective of real-life contexts.
Approach to Language Learning: I view language as a tool for authentic communication and personal growth. I strive to create opportunities for meaningful interactions that go beyond rote memorization, enabling students to apply language skills in real-world scenarios.
Student-Centered Instruction: In my classroom, students are active participants in their learning journey. I encourage open dialogue, critical thinking, and self-expression. By tailoring lessons to students’ interests and incorporating their diverse experiences, I aim to make learning engaging and relevant.
Communication and Collaboration: I believe in the power of collaborative learning. I foster an environment where students feel comfortable expressing their ideas, asking questions, and providing constructive feedback to their peers. This not only enhances language skills but also promotes cross-cultural understanding.
Cultural Sensitivity: Understanding that language is deeply intertwined with culture, I am dedicated to celebrating and respecting the diverse backgrounds of my students. I integrate culturally relevant content into lessons, encouraging students to share their own stories and perspectives.
Practical Application: My teaching is rooted in the principle that language should be functional. I design activities that mirror real-life situations, enabling students to practice English in contexts they are likely to encounter outside the classroom.
Adapting to Individual Needs: Recognizing that each student’s learning journey is unique, I am flexible in my approach. I provide differentiated instruction and support to accommodate different learning styles and levels of proficiency.
Technology Integration: I embrace technology as a tool to enhance learning. I incorporate multimedia resources, online platforms, and interactive activities to make lessons engaging and to facilitate language practice beyond the classroom.
Continuous Professional Growth: I am committed to ongoing professional development. I regularly seek out new pedagogical approaches, attend workshops, and engage with current research to refine my teaching practices.
In conclusion, my ESL teaching philosophy centers on creating an inclusive, interactive, and culturally sensitive learning environment that equips students with the language skills they need to succeed in an interconnected world. By fostering authentic communication, celebrating diversity, and promoting active engagement, I aim to inspire a lifelong love for language learning in each of my students.
ESL Teacher Philosophy FAQs
There are a number of common questions that people have about English teaching philosophy. Here are the answers to some of the most common ones.
What is your philosophy of teaching and learning
A philosophy of teaching and learning is a statement of self-reflection that covers beliefs about teaching and learning. It should be 1-2 pages, written in a narrative style that covers core ideas about being an effective teacher in the context of which subject you teach.
How do I write my teaching philosophy?
You can write a teaching philosophy by keeping these tips in mind:
- Make it brief (1-2 pages).
- Use the first person.
- Think specific, not abstract.
- Tailor it to your specific discipline.
- Avoid buzzwords and jargon.
- Be sincere.
- Think about what’s best for students.
Why do I need an ESL teacher philosophy?
You may be asked to submit an ESL teacher philosophy for a job application. Another instance would be for graduate school or even a TEFL certificate of some kind. Beyond, that, it’s good practice for any English teacher to have some guiding principles by which they conduct classes.
What should be included in an ESL teaching philosophy?
It should include your beliefs about language learning, your teaching style, methods you use, classroom environment, and how you address diverse student needs.
How can I showcase my teaching approach in my philosophy?
Share examples of the teaching methods you employ, such as communicative activities, real-life context, and student-centered approaches.
Should I mention specific teaching materials or technologies in my philosophy?
While you can mention them briefly, focus more on the principles and strategies you use rather than specific tools.
Can I mention my approach to classroom management in my philosophy?
Yes, briefly mention how you create an inclusive, respectful, and supportive classroom environment that fosters learning.
How long should my ESL teaching philosophy be?
It’s typically around one to two pages, but focus on conveying your beliefs concisely and clearly.
Can I include personal anecdotes in my philosophy?
Yes, personal stories can provide context and demonstrate how your beliefs manifest in real-life teaching situations.
Can I use quotes from educational theorists in my philosophy?
While you can reference theorists, ensure that your philosophy remains focused on your personal beliefs and practices.
Have your Say about Writing an ESL Teaching Philosophy
Do you have any tips or tricks for writing about ESL teaching methods or philosophies? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think. We’d love to hear from you about this topic.
Also, be sure to give this article a share on Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter. It’ll help other busy English teachers, like yourself, find this useful resource.
Last update on 2023-09-30 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API