My teaching perspective is made up of four interconnected aspects that seek to engage students and promote transformative, reflective and service learning. Firstly, to guide my students to knowledge construction, l embrace multiple ways of language acquisition such as text, task, communicative and process based approaches. The enumerated approaches allows for scaffolding and sequencing of language acquisition that replicates the natural way language is acquired. To activate my students’ cognitive skills, l utilise a variety of learning strategies that account for the student language levels and their optimal abilities. Drawing from multiple theories of language learning, l provide appropriate activities geared toward individual and collaborative ways of acquiring language knowledge.
Secondly, l believe language is a tool for thought and communicating worldviews. In line with this belief, l approach both the teaching of a language and language across the curriculum from different worldviews such as social constructivism, experiential, reflection and transformative learning. This means l pay attention to ways in which students construct knowledge in context, through interaction, experiencing and reflecting in action. The ultimate goal is to engage students in knowledge construction in ways that results in both transformative thinking and practice. l believe this can be achieved through the use of the flipped, blended and just-on-time classrooms. Such classes allow students to engage with one another using online mediums such as blogs and social media sites. Language students who engage in knowledge construction in the way l described above transform into learning mediators; interpreters and designers of learning; researchers and lifelong learners; community citizenship and pastoral advisors; assessors; and learning area specialists.
The third aspect of my teaching philosophy is my approach to curriculum implementation. I believe all the approaches to curriculum implementation such as behavioural, cognitive and constructivist should be integrated to assist students appreciate multiple ways in which instruction unfolds in language teaching. Based on this belief, my language lectures are reflective of direct instruction, expository and inquiry based ways of learning. I understand this to mean that I must value my students’ inferences, intuitions, discoveries, and conclusions they hold from interacting with the module content. Blended learning and flipped classrooms can be used for this purpose. To achieve this ideal, I encourage the students to make meaning through critical thinking, reflective activities that involve interactions with peers using an array of online mediums. I believe approaching the curriculum in this regard is valuable in empowering students and creating emancipatory thinking.
Finally, l strongly believe that student assessment should be continuous and account for variety of ways that provide evidence of knowing. I believe that assessment is important in providing students with feedback for them to self-regulate their strategies of acquiring knowledge. By scaffolding the students, I am able to facilitate their learning and assess their knowledge construction. A tour d’horizon of the four aspects l discussed above indicate that my teaching philosophy is based on the overall belief that l am a facilitator of learning, a role l play by being responsive and reflective to the needs of my students.