Demonstrated ability to evaluate language teaching materials and design a course of language instruction based upon an articulated working philosophy of language learning and teaching.
The Course Design Project was created for TESL 560: Language Program Design, taken in the Fall 2019 term with Dr. Tasha Bleistein. This artifact details the structure, organization, and underlying principles of Inglés Con Confianza, a course I designed. The Course Design Project includes my philosophy of language learning and teaching and shows how specific aspects of this philosophy (e.g. importance of focusing on the affective domain and equipping learners for success in real-life contexts) inform the selection and adaptation of course materials.
Articulating my philosophy of language and teaching for the Beliefs chapter was a definite struggle for me. After completing my project, I went back and totally rewrote my Beliefs chapter because in the process of designing the course, certain aspects emerged that I realized are key to what I believe about teaching and learning language. This backwards approach is consistent with the nonlinear process of course design which Graves (2000) describes. It was only after working with the syllabus and materials that I realized how certain underlying beliefs were foundational in my course design. Once I created the course “products” (Graves, 2000), it was easier for me to articulate my teaching philosophy. Two of the core beliefs that emerged from this process were the importance of integrating affective strategies to help students gain confidence, and the importance of using content and activities that directly relate to real-world situations.
This project has sparked a number of interests that I plan to investigate further. Some topics include affect in language learning, task-based language teaching, and lexical grammar approaches. I have added several related books to my reading list, and plan to submit a proposal to present a workshop on one of these topics at the next MIDTESOL convention (October 2020) to provide motivation for continued research. In preparation for offering my first Inglés Con Confianza course (anticipated launch: Fall 2020), I plan to further develop materials to supplement the Word by Word text I have chosen as the primary textbook, especially for the purpose of fortifying the presentation of relevant grammatical structures. I will further evaluate the supplemental grammar texts listed in my Materials chapter to see which one will best complement the vocabulary and tasks I have chosen. I will also investigate other possible supplemental materials, especially online resources.
Graves, K. (2000). Designing language courses: A guide for teachers. Boston, MA: Heinle & Heinle.