My name is Jennifer Speer and my major is Communications and Theater Arts. While this is fun I am really hoping to get hired for my Minor which is in the TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) program here at Eastern Michigan University. I would love to be the TESOL teacher in either a middle school or a high school setting. This is the age range of students that I like to teach.
I have wanted to be a teacher for a long time and now that my children are grown I have had the opportunity to come back to school to make my dreams a reality. I have been in other classes where I have had the opportunity to work in an actual classroom setting and was amazed at how far teaching has come since I was in school. I really think that technology is needed to teach the students of today. As part of our training here at Eastern we have to teach various lessons in actual classrooms. I taught a lesson to the students in a high school TESOL classroom about one of Edgar Allan Poe’s famous poems. As I was preparing the lesson it dawned on me that some of the descriptions used in the poem may not be something the students would be familiar with in English but if they were shown an image they would know exactly what it was in their home language. With this in mind the best example I can give is that in the poem Mr. Poe talks about a vulture. So, before we dove into the poem I took the time to go through not only the vocabulary words but also words that, though they may not know the image in English, in their native tongue they would probably know right away. Before putting up the images of the words I would ask them if any of them knew what this word meant or what image it represented. When I asked if they knew what a vulture was each of them said something along the lines of, “I have no idea what that is.” However, when I showed them a picture of a vulture you could see the light dawn in their eyes and each one said, “Oh, that is a,” and they gave the name of the bird in their native tongue. Taking the time to go through the poem’s vocabulary with pictorial help did make the reading and understanding of the poem much easier for them. Another thing that I also did was to find a youtube.com video of the poem and after we read the poem we watched the video. I had them find things in the video that were different from what was in the poem and they did very well at finding the differences between what happened in the poem and what was shot in the video. So, I guess that is actually two examples of how different media both pictures and videos can be used in the classroom.
For the picture above I used Adobe Photoshop to crop, re-size, add a red rectangle, and black text, to a digital picture that was taken of me at the San Diego Zoo’s Animal Park. This is yet one more form of technology that we can use and teach our students to use as well.
Thank you for taking the time to read my introduction,