Professional Portfolio Reflection As a candidate in Master of Arts in English/TESOL at Salisbury University, I have created a professional portfolio displaying my accomplishments and abilities as an effective language teacher and advocate for English language learners. My professional portfolio contains artifacts from the following courses, along with corresponding reflections: Principles of Linguistics, Second Language Acquisition, Survey of Modern English Grammar, Bilingualism, Literacy and ESOL Reading, Literacy and ESOL Writing, Language and Culture, Current Methods in ESOL Instruction, ESOL Program Development, ESOL Tests and Measurements, and ESOL Materials Assessment. The theories, approaches, methods, and techniques determined to benefit English language learners in the classrooms can be easily adapted and integrated into planning and implementing my ESOL classroom. This knowledge is important because the number of low English proficient students is steadily increasing while the number of qualified teachers is remaining the same. Because these students are in an ESOL classroom for a small amount of time each day, it is the mainstream teacher’s responsibility to become knowledgeable of teaching this diverse population. As an advocate for the ESOL students at my school, I plan to enlighten these teachers on the most current and “best” practices for including and efficiently teaching these students. The artifacts contained in this portfolio consist of reflective research, unit and lesson plans, and other related activities, but they demonstrate my knowledge and understanding of the material on all levels. I gained knowledge of efficiently teaching language through researching, presenting, or reflecting on various readings, topics, and theories. For example, the reflection on Chapter fourteen in Education English Learners, No Child Left Untested, allowed me to summarize the history behind assessments and the standards movement and then apply that information to the situation in our schools. The numerous lesson plans included in my professional portfolio demonstrate my ability to apply the theory of language instruction to real-world teaching situations. The lesson plans, incorporating reading, writing, listening, and speaking skills, are readily applicable to my ESOL classroom. Knowledge of the history of language teaching provides me with an awareness and an appreciation for the growth in the bilingual education practices, as well as ESL instruction. The artifacts included in my professional portfolio either meet or exceed the designated standards. Those activities that do not meet the standards may be manipulated and modified to exceed the NCATE/TESOL standards. As a professional, I feel I have, in general, exceeded the NCATE/TESOL professional standards. The word etymology exercise and the PowerPoint presentation created in the Second Language Acquisition class, both demonstrate my ability to create a language-rich learning environment to foster primary and second language development through my knowledge of language as a system. These two additions to my professional portfolio exceed the Language standard as defined by NCATE/TESOL professional standards. Included in the Culture standard is a lesson plan utilizing Esperanza Rising and the ethnography report. The lesson plan exceeds standard 2.a. because it provides evidence that I am able to consistently, effectively, and appropriately enhance student learning by drawing on their past experiences and their culture. The ethnography report exceeds standard 2.b. because I have recognized that students come to school with a language and culture of their own that interact to form the students’ identity. This realization is evident through my work with a bilingual student. The Rainforest unit plan spreads across domain three and is all-encompassing. The unit, focusing on developing the reading and writing skills through the use of the listening and speaking skills, exceeds the NCATE/TESOL standards for Domain three, Planning and Managing Instruction. The activities contained in the individual lessons utilize various graphic organizers to aid in comprehension and rubrics for assessment purposes. The focus of the lessons is on building students’ prior knowledge and motivating them to establish a purpose for reading. Artifacts included in the Assessment domain are basic and currently meet the standards. Course work is still in progress for this domain. When completed, the artifacts will be modified and updated to exceed the standards. The presentation Tips for Working with English Language Learners, developed outside of the program, demonstrates my willingness to act as an advocate and resource for my colleagues. Domain five, Professionalism, is also a work in progress and will be modified to accommodate my learning. Overall, I feel I have met, or will meet, if not exceed, every standard included in the NCATE/TESOL standards for the five domains of Language, Culture, Planning and Managing Instruction, Assessment, and Professionalism. On a personal level, the most rewarding component of the professional portfolio is the Ethnography report. This report, consisting of interviews and research, provided me with a window into the life of a bilingual student and the motivation that is involved in acquiring a second language. Through this interview, I realized the importance parental support and dedication, along with cultural background and beliefs, has on language learning. The most rewarding aspect, on a professional level, of this working professional portfolio is the Unit plan. The Unit plan incorporates all of the information learned throughout the ACE TESOL program. History, theory, assessment techniques, methods, and approaches to language teaching all intertwine to create a unit plan for efficiently teaching low English proficient students. All of the language skills, reading, writing, speaking, and listening are included in the plan and the use of the students’ primary languages are encouraged for learning. The Rainforest unit plan is readily applicable to my ESOL classroom and will benefit my English language learning students, as well as provide a model for which mainstream teachers can utilize.
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