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SIT TESOL CERTIFICATE COURSE. FINAL LEARNING STATEMENT.

MIGUEL MEJA
SIT TESOL Certifcate Course
August-September, 2014
Final Learning Statement
By Miguel Meja Flrez
I. Learning from Students
To me, one important learning from this course is that learners, their learning
styles, personalities and background actually shape what happens in the
classroom, and that a lesson can be successful only if we design it with
students in mind.
The main challenge for me during this course was to get to know students
well so I could plan lessons that were meaningful, and included activities that
were engaging and doable for them.
So one thing our tasks during the course and the students have taught
me is how to become more aware of who they are as learners, and as people. In
the future, I want to remember when I meet new students that it will facilitate
my job, and I will help them better, if I consider aspects like who they are, what
their learning style is, what their inner motivations are, and what thing
challenge and ease their learning.
Also, I want to remember when I work with future students that the
efectiveness in my teaching doesnt depend only on what I plan and how well-
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SIT TESOL CERTIFICATE COURSE. FINAL LEARNING STATEMENT. MIGUEL MEJA
structured my lessons are. The observable impact of my teaching lies on what
learners are able to do with the language and topics I present to them after the
lessons have ended.
II. Refecting on Learning and Teaching
After this course my main belief on teaching and learning is that both mirror
each other. Efective teaching causes learning to blossom. And meaningful
learning determines whether teaching has been successful.
For instance, a couple of times I managed to design what looked like good
lesson plans that would help the students meet their objectives, but then
during the class itself, I made some pedagogical decisions that seemed to
hinder the students learning, like breaking in on students participations
during fuency activities.
One important aspect of teaching and its relation to learning is that we
instructors need to learn how to observe our own teaching to later refect on
what we observe, and make generalizations and future action plans. The
technique of the refective cycle is something I would like to become fuent at. I
believe that the refective cycle applied to teaching is very useful for teaching
because if we are able to apply it constantly, then we will come to educated
guesses for the best instructional moves when we teach.
Another belief I want to embrace in the future and apply is that learning
and teaching are more fruitful when we approach them as a construct that
blossoms within a community with specifc needs. If we instructors are aware of
the traits of the community we are in, it will be very benefcial for everyone
because students will be more engaged as they will be ofered lessons with
topics that truly concern them.
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SIT TESOL CERTIFICATE COURSE. FINAL LEARNING STATEMENT. MIGUEL MEJA
III. My Profle as an Instructor
I have learned about myself as an instructor that I can take advantage of a
situations that are not very favorable at frst. Like not having the resources one
wants to use.
In this course I have experienced how to change the way I relate to
teaching. Up to now, I have always used in my classes very structured activities
that take no risks, and typically allow little space for errors. From my practice
here I have seen that one should always explore new ways to do what I always
do.
I also learned that the feedback I get from other educators provides a lot
of alternatives to solve problems. This is something I really want to work on
because when I teach T tend not to leave my comfort zone. One aspect of
teaching that I feel confdent at is designing lessons with accurate and
pertinent target language.
IV. Summing up course objectives.
*Refection: in terms of revisiting what happened during my classes, and
refecting on them, I think I have partially reached this goal. I just need to work
more on the wording I use for my refections. That way it will be easier for
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SIT TESOL CERTIFICATE COURSE. FINAL LEARNING STATEMENT. MIGUEL MEJA
others to understand what happened in a class, and why I made certain
teaching moves.
*Learning-Centered Teaching: this was the aspect of the course that I found
particularly challenging. I managed to plan lessons that included all of the
required component, but something failed for me in the implementation, for
example, not having enough time to reach the fuency goals, or not including
enough communicative activities so that students actually managed to reach
the learning objectives.
*Language awareness: I believe this is my strongest skill, because it is
something we are typically very aware of at the institution where I come from.
When we are observed there, trainers and observers pay special attention to
how instructors present topics, how accurate explanations are, and how
teachers manage to connect new forms with use, so students have a clear
understanding of the language chunks we present. I felt that this objective was
not difcult for me at all.
*Lessons for Receptive and Productive Skills, and Culture: Like I mentioned
before, planning and refecting are two aspects of teaching for which I got good
feedback during this course, but I need to work on ways for those good aspects
to really impact my implementation and practice. For the culture lesson
specifcally, I think I managed to engage students in activities that exposed
them to diferent cultural traits and to think about their own culture.
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