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Teaching Philosophy

My philosophy on foreign language education puts the students in the center of the

teaching-learning process in which they are actively engaged so that, eventually, they can

become effective users of the language. I strongly believe that by promoting strategies and

techniques that require from students an active participation in order to develop tasks is the

means to get my students to become competent users of the language. That is, not only do

they have to be able to manipulate the language for accuracy purposes, but also they have to

be able to use the language functionally and socially to communicate their opinions, emotions

and needs, as they would do in the real world, regardless their current L2 level.

Due to the fact that I was educated using traditional approaches, I had to change my

whole perspective on the teaching-learning process when I became a teacher. For example,

my teachers at primary and high school used to be the centers of the T-L process. They used

to talk most of the time and do most of the things. This meant that we had little chances to

actively participate even though we were the ones who were supposed to be learning. Unlike

my experience as a student, as a teacher my role has changed radically. Among many roles I

adopt in the classroom, I play the role of a learning-experience designer and a guide most of

the time. I design lessons whose main aims are for students to experience situations in which

they have to use the language with a purpose. I guide students throughout the process by

intervening only when it is necessary to do so. For example, I intervene when students are

focused on accuracy-oriented activities or during the presentation stage of the activities. On

the other hand, when students are working on fluency-based activities, I just let them work

and help as needed. I consider making errors part of the process.

Regarding strategies and techniques, I promote the ones that require from the students

the use of the language with a communicative purpose. I usually choose activities such as
information gap, jigsaw, survey (find someone who), and role-plays among others. These

activities must comply with the three features of communicative activities: information gap,

choice and feedback. In the classroom I take advantage of every situation to get my students

to practice using communication activities. For instance, when I want to stretch the Language

Link section, I have students prepare a set of questions that they will be asking their partner

as they mingle in a find someone who activity. Other types of activities that I use to a

limited extend are pre-communicative activities such as drillingespecially when the focus is

on language forms. The reason I do this is because these activities will prepare students for

later communicative activities. With this help, students will carry out the communicative

activities more confidently and efficiently.

As stated earlier I consider myself a CLT-oriented teacher. Therefore, I promote that

my students become competent users of the language. This means that they have to use the

language to communicate both functional and social meanings. That is, they have to be able

to thank, to suggest, to give advice, to agree and disagree, etc. Also, they have to be able to

use the language according to certain social situations such as formal and informal ones. I

have to make sure that they choose language accordingly. In the end, students have to be able

to use the language freely and creatively to convey their feelings, needs and desires. By doing

so, students will feel intrinsically motivated since they will be doing the tasks and activities

that I introduce with the mere purpose of improving their language skills.

To sum up, my idea of teaching and learning is one in which students are the doers

and the teacher is the guide or facilitator whose intervention will primarily depend on the

type of activity students are devoted to, either fluency-based or accuracy-based. In order to do

this, I promote the use of activities that help students to communicate both functionally and

socially. Finally, I consider myself a learning-experience designer. With all this my ultimate

goal is to make students feel motivated intrinsically if possible.