I believe students are most successful when they feel that their opinion is valued

,
they feel comfortable, and have many opportunities to learn. As a teacher it is my
responsibility to supply the students with the best environment to learn with several
aspects in mind. As the University of Hawaii Sailing Team manager I strongly believe,
“teachers serve as coaches who attend to individuals as well as to the whole class. The
goals of teachers are to meet all students at their starting points and move each one along
a continuum of growth as far and as quickly as possible” (Tomlinson & Kalbfleisch,
1998). The classroom as a whole should be addressed to motivate students to succeed
and work as team.

As we learn a second language it can be frustrating and almost embarrassing to
use the language we are not used to. It is important for the student to learn in an
environment with low anxiety so the student is willing to produce output in the target
language. Pronunciation is not stressed but the willingness to communicate is more
crucial to encourage students to communicate. As the students feel comfortable they will
be more likely to share their opinion, views, have a mutual understanding and share what
is on their mind.

It is rather difficult to teach an individual something that they do not have any
interest in. To encourage the students to study outside of the classroom as well they need
to have some type of intrinsic value in the language. As a language teacher I am an
ambassador of American culture as well. Therefore it is important to make the materials

relevant culturally, teach real world English that can be applied readily, provide
intercultural opportunities for the students by bringing in guest speakers or having
themed parties, provide interesting materials that can draw in the students, and provide
many opportunities to learn as well. Since each student and class different the teacher
has to pay attention to the students and solicit feedback to encourage the students and
draw out their interests.

Some students are motivated to learn a second language and engage in activities
outside of the classroom that encourage the student to learn at all times such as listening
to music in the target language, watching videos, chatting online, texting their friends,
and using technology. Other students that have not had that exposure may not be as
likely to want to learn the target language. I feel that it is important to display many
methods of instruction to see what it is that can make the student interested and become
engaged in learning. There are many different methods available including writing
poems, creative writing, movie analysis, song analysis, creating movies, creating
animations, making comic books, and making blogs. With today’s generation growing up
in the digital age this is a beneficial outlet to encourage the students. Assignments can be
posted to a blog for students to share and this gives them a sense of owning their
homework and therefore they become creators of information instead of just submitting
homework.

My experience as a language learner, tutor, teacher, and a second language
researcher has helped me to understand the difficulties in acquiring a second language.

My approach to learning a second language is a task based practical approach with a
naturalistic point of view. It is important that the student is able to converse in the target
language in a wide variety of situations. Each student has a different purpose for
acquiring a second language so I adopt my techniques person to person. Some students
want to use daily practical English which is important while others want to learn how to
negotiate or debate in English, use business English, or just get a job with their English
skills.
My approach to classroom language instruction is influenced by my experiences with
students in the classroom and the perspectives I gained while observing different
teacher’s styles of instruction. My philosophy and style of teaching is constantly
evolving in a way to assist the student to be engaged, motivated, and enjoy learning a
second language. While my instructional methods are evolving, some of my current
beliefs and practices are outlined herein.

Sources
Tomlinson, C., & Kalbfleisch, M. L. (1998). Teach Me, Teach My Brain: A Call for
Differentiated Classrooms. Educational Leadership, 56 (3), 52–55.