what does my philosophy of foreign language teaching look like now

Brooke Hayworth
EDU 399
After completing Methods of Teaching Foreign Language, my philosophy of education
has changed quite a bit since I began the class, although most of my professional goals remain
the same. I still believe that my students are the central focus of my classroom, but now I have a
wide array of methods and activities at my disposal. After being exposed to different theories
regarding language learning, my beliefs regarding how students learn language are reflected in
the Second Language Acquisition Theory. Teachers should provide plenty of comprehensible
input for students and give students the opportunity to produce comprehensible output. In my
opinion, the key word in this sentence is comprehensible. Students must understand what the
teacher is saying so that learning and instruction are both meaningful. Teachers can make input
comprehensible through the use of visuals, pantomime, slower and more distinct pronunciation,
and scaffolding.
I also believe that teachers should work in students’ Zones of Proximal Development so
that teachers are constantly challenging their students but in a way that does not frustrate the
students. If students are challenged too strongly they will give up, but if students are encouraged
by the teacher and are given a fair challenge they are more likely to succeed and meet the
challenge. As teachers we must remember that students spend most of their day in a classroom,
so we must provide them with an interesting way to acquire a second language.
In my first essay regarding my philosophy of education I mention that I believe students
should be able to choose what they want to learn about because they will work harder if they are
interested in what they are learning. Teachers should provide students with opportunities to
research areas of their own interest, while sticking to the foreign language standards that have
been established by various organizations. Standards were put into place in order to ensure that
students were being exposed to the different forms of communication and other experiences
Brooke Hayworth
EDU 399
within a foreign language. As long as these standards are being met, teachers can use whatever
content is relevant in order to create a more student-centered classroom. Therefore, contentbased instruction is very plausible in a foreign language classroom because it actually helps the
teacher meet her standards for foreign language instruction by providing students with the
opportunity to use the target language.
This class has helped me to apply theory to my preconceived notions about foreign
language learning. I now understand how the brain processes new information and how students
must construct meaning in order to learn something. By establishing my approach as the Second
Language Acquisition Theory I have a better understanding of how students learn a language and
how I can best help my students when they have trouble with foreign language learning.