My American Sign Language (ASL) teaching philosophy is to teach more than just the language. I believe in opening a whole new world to my students where they can be truly exposed to every aspect of ASL including its culture, history, traditions, and literature.
My ASL teaching philosophy consists of several prominent language teaching methodologies, including Communicative Language Teaching, which emphasizes not only the "organizational aspects of language" but also is intertwined with "the pragmatic aspects" of language (Brown, 2007, p. 46). Setting language structure, form, and rules aside, I believe in teaching the semantics of ASL. One of my goals as a teacher is to have my students become communicative and culturally competent.
Other teaching methodologies that I incorporate in my classroom are the Direct Method, for its firm practice of using target language all the time, and the Natural Approach, which includes Krashen's Input Hypothesis, also known as i +1. The hypothesis works around students' acquisition, advancing them at proper times without creating a climate of anxiety (Richards & Rodgers, 2001, p. 182). I believe that language teaching should be about accommodating students' needs, interests, and learning styles.
Like Brown said, "language learning is learning to communicate," my classroom is beyond learning the language (2007, p. 49). My philosophy encourages students to become fluent communicators while understanding and appreciating ASL at the same time.
Brown, H. D. (2001). Teaching by principles: an interactive approach to language pedagogy (2nd ed.). White Plains, NY: Longman.
Richards, J. C., & Rodgers, T. S. (2001). Approaches and methods in language teaching (2nd ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
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