My Teaching Philosophy Statement


My Teaching Philosophy

When I first came to Istanbul three years ago, I could not communicate with Turks properly because I did not know anything about the Turkish language. I knew some common greeting words because they were the same as Arabic, such as, “Merhaba” or “Salam” which meant “hello”. At that time, I was struggling to look for or find a teaching position in Istanbul because many schools’ managers or owners could not speak English at all. I started learning some Turkish phrases with some support from my friends; I finally managed to communicate with others properly.

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That is the reason why I like teaching English after all. I have been teaching English for more than 10 years in China and Turkey. I put myself in every student’s shoes. I have the same feeling about how hard it is when you cannot express yourself in an appropriate way. I am trying to do that by using simple and fun ways to teach English. I encourage my students to speak English in pairs or in groups because most of them are shy to speak directly or unable to produce a sentence. Hence, they can be motivated by another classmate. Due to the fact that they are afraid to make mistakes in the classroom, I always keep my students in a safe environment to speak and use the language freely with their classmates.

I am an English teacher at the moment at a private university in Istanbul, Turkey. I have many different students with different levels and goals of learning. Some of them are learning English for getting a better job while others have to study abroad in mind. My short-term goal as a teacher is to provide my students with a safe environment to practice and speak fluently in very easy and funny ways to learn in addition to using many activities, games, and role plays. However, my long-term goal is to develop my students’ learning and critical thinking because many learners think that the language is just learning grammar rules. As an experienced teacher, I do my best to make them use the language in a practical way but not a theoretical way by providing them with the right support to achieve their learning goal.

My teaching style is mainly fixed on the Communicative Approach. I find myself in this approach because I teach English to school students, lawyers, accountants, and managers. I teach my students and concentrate on receptive skills (listening and reading) as well as productive skills (speaking and writing) by using different resources such as articles, news, and sometimes TEDx Talk for pair-talking activities and giving their opinions about certain topics.

Furthermore, I am aware of students’ different levels and the different communities that they came from. I am very interested in the Cognitive Approach because it is very important to follow. The main reason is that this approach helps me to study the students’ mentality and understand their culture carefully. To do so, I motivate and provide my students with English speaking environment to help them practice and use the language to pave the way and help them achieve their learning goals.

I use many teaching techniques during my lessons. The most important technique is to gain students’ attention at the beginning of the lesson. I spend some extra time while I am preparing my lesson plan, thinking of different ways to get their attention. I understand that my students have full-time jobs. Therefore, I am aware of their thinking distractions and the missions they have to do in the following day. 

All these factors may make students stray; hence, I use some sort of songs or videos to get their attention or ask them some questions about their previous day's experience or the activities that they did during their holiday or weekend. Sometimes, I use cards game to remind them of the last lesson lexis. I use “warm-up” language and I make the class more Student-Centered and less Teacher-Centered during my lessons because those elements help students, especially A1 and A2 students, to simply understand what is going on during the lesson. I stay away from complex grammatical sentences, and I use simple language such as gestures and body language, scaffolding, and using concept-checking questions CCQs to make sure that students understand the idea.

During my lessons, I stick with the idea of 80/20 that I motivate and give my students the chance to practice the language in the class with their mates. To do so, I provide them with “guided practice” and encourage them to work in pairs or small groups because some students might be shy or hesitate so, I offer them a safe environment to talk and express their ideas in English. In addition, I motivate my students to do some “independence practice” so I could check the students’ understanding at the end of the lesson. As for “assessment”, I also give my students an assignment to do in their free time such as writing or cloze test activities and much more. Then, I provide them with a rubric that contains specific rules that students have to follow during their assignments.

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