My Teaching Responsibilities

Teaching Philosophy and Goals

My Teaching Responsibilities

I work as an instructor of English language in New York City College. Since establishment of language department in the college in 1993, enrollment in the department has risen from 150 to over 1,100 students by 2013. The increase has mainly occurred due to presence of numerous immigrants in the United States from non-English-speaking countries who undertake studies the US. Students from China, Spain, Japan and other countries may not have adequate knowledge in English yet all lessons in the college are taught in this language. My role is to take such students through English lessons for them to sharpen linguistic skills and hence, comprehend texts and tutors’ talk in other lessons. The lessons also enable such students to converse effectively with American students and hence, make meaningful social relationships with fellow students (Fry et al, 2009).

I have a Masters degree in linguistics and teaching experience of more than two decades in the same field and thus, I fit well in the faculty. I have established that most people taking English as the second language (ESL) encounter various difficulties in the learning process, especially during initial stages, including cognitive load, cultural load, language load and learning load (Scales, 2008). Thus, I have a role to do extra instructional work to make lessons more meaningful and less confusing and overwhelming to the students.

My Teaching Philosophy and Goals

I like my teaching career since I love learning. I learn from students as I share my knowledge with them. I believe that a successful teacher must be a lifelong learner. My ideal classroom is comprised of students who love learning and who work together to understand new concepts and ideas and to solve problems. It is exciting, though a bit noisy. I am either moving around providing guidance or assistance to the students or am in the midst of an exciting debate with them. I believe in developing an atmosphere where students are willing to learn, do not fear making mistakes and are comfortable to express their problems.

The following are my goals that guide me to become an effective language instructor:

To encourage students to always seek clarifications and elaborations through asking questions

To encourage students to engage in debates and to teach them to think rather than to memorize

To teach students to solve problems rather than to always rely on me

To be always prepared through continuous research and practice

To integrate technology in the teaching practice

To inspire the students through good impressions and making fun during lessons

To instill passion for self-reflection among students and always inspire them to improve

To always answer questions regardless of number of times that a student asks

To be available to assist students even after classes

To always acknowledge students’ improvements

To be prepared to learn as I teach

To encourage lifelong learning

To recognize and embrace diversity

To be a mentor to students and represent what they aspire to be

Description of Teaching Methodology

I engage in various vital teaching activities, on top of those indicated in the goal’s section. When dealing with a new student the first thing I do is to cultivate positive attitude through making the student understand that grammar is a liberating rather than a constraining force. I support this by allowing students to pursue topics of their interest. However, I allow this only for topics that are valuable for learning. As Power (2007) and Osterman and Kottkamp (2004) argue, student’s interests should be broadened through a creatively selected and implemented curriculum. I also adopt several activities that help to minimize difficulties in understanding grammar terminologies. I try to lighten learning difficulty through rewriting and providing explanations of grammar terminologies. This involves breaking them down and explaining them in ways that are comprehensible to the students. I like presenting grammar terminologies at the start of a lesson and define them. I avail different texts to learners containing terminologies but varying in reading difficulty and linguistic complexity. Finally, I constantly search for knowledge in available resources to gain understanding of grammar issues and how to explain them. As Borova (2012) and Biggs and Tang (2007) explain, it is vital to give explanations to errors in students’ work and avoid giving negative feedback that might de-motivate them.

Course Syllabi and Assignments

I am responsible for creating detailed tutorials, assignment sheets, handouts week by week logs, quizzes, rubrics, presentation outlines and other documents provided in this department. The following are exhibits of such documents:

Presentation outline: L104 Language development

Rubric: L103:Non-verbal communication techniques

Quiz: L106 Culturally responsive communication

Handout: L102 Verbal communication techniques

Assignment Sheet: L201 Responsive listening

Tutorial exhibit: L203 role of language in learning

Teaching Effectiveness

Peer Assessment of My Teaching

Teacher’s name ________ Tom Franklin ___________________________ Date May 30, 2013

Rating: Good

Strengths Identified:

Demonstrates knowledge of students

Selects instructional goals

Manages classroom procedures

Establishes a culture of learning

Creates an environment of respect and rapport

Uses questioning and discussion techniques

Maintains accurate records

Identified growth areas:

Need to use both implicit and explicit approaches to teaching grammar

Teacher’s name ________ Jane Doe ___________________________ Date May 30, 2013

Rating: Good

Strengths identified

Demonstrates knowledge of students

Selects instructional goals

Manages classroom procedures

Establishes a culture of learning

Demonstrates knowledge in behavior and teamwork management

Uses assessments for instruction

Identified growth areas

Need to use both implicit and explicit teaching approaches

Teaching Improvement Activities

One main weakness that I have in teaching grammar, as identified by my peers, is failure to adopt both implicit and explicit approaches in teaching grammar. I have learnt that grammar teaching should not be restricted to analysis of written documents. Rather, it should also be provided in context or in an implicit manner by examining living speech. To incorporate this approach, I will provide function-based lessons in which I will be applying grammar in context after undertaking grammar-based lessons (Merriam et al, 2007).

Future Teaching Goals

Drawing from this reflection, I find the need for more methodologies and approaches that will help in creating and in cultivating positive attitude among ESL learners towards grammar. Secondly, I will have to incorporate implicit teaching of grammar, alongside the explicit approach. I also find the need for additional supplementary materials that will help in clarifying terminologies to students. Generally, this reflection has helped me in identifying my competencies and competencies and needs for personal development as a grammar instructor. The reflection has helped me to identify areas of improvement which may lead to a culture of excellence evidenced by improved learning and reduction in learning difficulties encountered by grammar students.


Biggs, J., & Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for Quality Learning at University. Berkshire:

Open University Press.Borova, T. A. (2012), The higher school teaching staff professional development

system creation on the adaptive management principles, Pedagogics, Psychology, Medical-Biological Problems of Physical Training and Sports. 3, pp. 16 – 20

Fry, H., Ketteridge, S., & and Marshall, S. (2009). A Handbook for Teaching and

Learning in Higher Education: Enhancing Academic Practice. New York: Routledge.

Merriam, S., Caffarella, R., & Baumgartner, L. (2007). Learning in Adulthood: A

Comprehensive Guide. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Osterman, K., & Kottkamp, R. (2004). Reflective Practice for Educators:

Professional Development to Improve Student Learning. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Power, J. (2007), Staff Development, Journal of Access Services, 3(3), pp. 65 – 70

Scales, P. (2008). Teaching in the Lifelong Learning Sector. Berkshire: Open

University Press

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