“There is no student incapable of learning, only teachers incapable of instruction. ” I became particularly enamored of this statement during my fourth year teaching. To raise the caliber of my instruction, to reside in a new cultural environment and broaden my horizons, and to facilitate a sincere desire to aid student development, I am laying down my comfortable and secure government position to apply for entrance to your Master’s program in TESOL for the Fall semester of 2001.
I have always had an excellent academic performance at school, but unlike those who only have good grades, I also understood the significance of leading a well-rounded student life. Not only have I participated in many different kinds of activities and competitions, but I have also held various part-time jobs with the result my life experience is far richer than my peers. A particular benefit of this is that I am more tolerant and understanding of others and appreciative of the strengths peculiar to individuals. My parents are both secondary school teachers, and they place great emphasis on children’s reading development.
Thus we siblings all cultivated good learning habits. Therefore, during my undergraduate years, I was in the habit of fully previewing reading material that professors assigned before giving lectures, in addition to the usual taking of notes. I also made full use of library services and materials to supplement my reading. As a result, in both linguistics and literature, I consistently earned good grades and tended to be a more creative student. I graduated from college as the number one government-sponsored student in my graduating class (there were 25 of us) and won a large number of scholarships in the process.
Although I work hard at whatever I do, I have always been generous sharing the fruits of my efforts with others. Scholastic performance is naturally important, but the mutual learning process inspired by sharing one’s knowledge and experiences with others is even more important. Through my teaching, I hope to inculcate students with a similar attitude and inspire them to base their self-assurance on themselves and not look for it from others. In addition to strictly academic pursuits, I participated in many societies and organizations, playing many leading roles.
I held several interesting part-time positions such as Stage Management Assistant for the Russian Sligo Ballet Dance Company, Campaign Assistant during the presidential election campaign for the now-ruling Democratic Progressive Party, and as Translator for the 1994 Taipei International Toy Show in World Trade Center. On campus I was the Editor for departmental publications and President of the English Department Student Association. Also, I was the stage lighting supervisor for my graduating year’s public drama performance.
The most important event I worked on was as a school representative helping organize and setup the National Alumni Association of Senior High Schools in Hsinchu. Under our efforts, it became an official association recognized and sponsored by the Hsinchu City Government. Speaking of sports, I enjoy volleyball and badminton very much. Thus, I was assigned to be the school badminton club instructor as part of my teaching practice. Also worth mentioning is that I was a volunteer instructor at two orphanages, giving those in need love and care.
At junior high school, I was an advanced science student but on reaching high school I became really attached to popular music in general and the heavy metal genre in particular. My interest in reading lyric sheets prompted the discovery that the underlying concepts and cultural background of foreign and domestic music are often very different. This inspired me to transfer from the university science preparatory track to the study of English. Continuing to earn high grades, I attended the Department of English at Chang Hua University of Education on scholarship.
My abiding interest in English ensured I was highly motivated but the well-chosen course materials also naturally engendered interest. In 1997, because of my good performance, I was assigned to Taipei Municipal Fu-Hsing Senior High School to complete my teaching practice. A year later, I became a certified English teacher and have been teaching there until now. During the past three years, I have taken one class of students through an entire three-year cycle of studies ending in graduation, and from this have noted that the dry nature of language studies unnecessarily renders this subject less than captivating to most students.
Here in Taiwan, there is intense pressure on students facing the national college entrance examination with the result that grade school instruction focuses on grammar, as this is the prime subject tested by the exam. Fortunately, in the last several years Taiwan has been going through a transition period of educational reform and the stress has changed from the dull ritual of grammar studies to the more colorful participatory style of community language learning.
Furthermore, high schools are now given more latitude tailoring programs to their needs, all of which represents a paradigm change from the Japanese educational style to the American which emphasizes personal development and independent thought. To achieve my potential as a teacher operating within this new and still developing system, I wish to study and research a variety of general teaching methodologies, in addition to linguistics teaching methodologies. Reviewing your catalogue, I have been very impressed with your curriculum, faculty, facilities, and overall academic environment.
I have discovered your curriculum and developmental style is in great accord with my needs and, because your school is located in one of the world’s economic and cultural center, I expect it to offer both an outstanding curriculum and an exceptional environment for cultural immersion. Recently, preparing for the TOEFL and TSE, I have taken a great interest in assessing second language acquisition. The CLOZE Test and Reading Comprehension Test and other related preparatory tests are relatively disorganized and less than ideally effective at present.
Thus I hope to make a concrete contribution to the improvement of this aspect of English language instruction upon my return. I believe I possess the enthusiasm and determination to successfully enhance my skills teaching English as a second language, but I also believe that self-improvement is the most important thing in my life. Only by setting myself up as an example, knowing my own strengths and weaknesses, and trying to improve myself, can I have the confidence to step up to a platform and teach students.
After all, teaching is not only about inculcating students with a body of practical skills, but also about investing them with moral courage and character education during the process. As such, I make a point of ensuring I have spare time for my students after school and I thus find the progress of my students to be very fulfilling. Highly motivated, resolute, and more than willing to devote the time and effort to complete your program, I sincerely hope you will accept my candidacy. In closing, I would like to express my gratitude for your review of my application materials, and I thank you for your time.