My philosophy of education is built upon my experiences as both a student and a teacher, Constructivism, Humanism and Connectivism. I started learning English as a second language at a bilingual school at the age of 12 totally through the direct approach, which means no use of a person’s mother tongue. Lessons begin with dialogues and anecdotes in modern conversational style, actions and pictures are used to make meanings clear, grammar is learned inductively, literary texts are read for pleasure and are not analyzed grammatically (Murcia, 2001, p. 6). I learned English well, but my skill level was lower than my friends; I never figured out the usefulness of English other than for schoolwork. My level of English was sufficient enough to do the work, but I wasn’t fluent until I met Tim, my husband. This demonstrates that motivation, which can be defined in terms of attitudes towards the language, in second language learning, is important, because if learners have favorable attitudes towards the speakers of the language they will desire more contact with them (Lightbown & Spada, 1999, p56). Constructivism holds that meaningful learning occurs when people actively try to make sense of the world by filtering new ideas and experiences through existing knowledge structures (Snowman et al., 2009, p. 337). In agreement with Jerome Bruner, I confront students with problems and help them to seek solutions either independently or by engaging in collaborative group discussion (Snowman et al., 2009, p. 337). Fetherston (2007) calls this as and adds that teachers operating according to constructivist principles would create an environment where students had ample opportunity for this social negotiation (p.160). Furthermore, teachers adopting a constructivist approach would scaffold their students’ learning by matching the task to the students so that it lies within their ‘zone’ and use real and authentic tasks (p.161). As a language teacher and a strong believer of the constructivist approach, I make sure the students see meaningful connections between content and skills and the real world by providing opportunities for them to use the tools in authentic, real-life activities to create common or shared understanding of some phenomenon (Snowman et al., 2009, p. 340). Therefore, I plan and implement learning experiences in classroom and outside classroom that supports students’ development and active engagement with the world.
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