A WLE– French graduate student, Marnice Lewis, reflects on her experience at DePaul University.
Informing and Forming a Teacher
As a child, I loved playing teacher; as I got older I wasn’t sure about entering that profession, but then, after years in the business world and a teaching stint in France, it finally hit me – I was meant to be a teacher. So I enrolled at DePaul and began my teacher education program where I have been fortunate enough to take several classes that have had a profound impact on my philosophy, style, and understanding of teaching a second language.
BBE560/WLE360 Second, World, and Heritage Language Acquisition taught me how humans acquire languages, an area of study that is fairly new, but absolutely fascinating. Learning the “how” has informed my approach to teaching – I now understand why students face certain difficulties with second language learning and have a better understanding of how to help them through the challenges. In fact, this class made me reflect on the fact that most people learning another language don’t understand the language-learning process, something I intend to clarify for my future students.
By discussing effective teaching methods and offering extensive and practical experience in writing and implementing lesson plans, T&L449/WLE349 Standard and Content-based Methods of Teaching World Languages was a great class in which we got to “walk the walk.” In fact, I have held on to the lesson plans I created in this class and fully intend to incorporate them in my future classes.
As I become more involved in the world of education, I understand how relevant my classes at DePaul have been. For example, in T&L449/WLE349 (mentioned above), we discussed how to create an immersion environment in the classroom and in BBE570/WLE370 Second and World Language Literacies and Cultures, we discussed how to include culture into our lessons. Soon I will be attending workshops on both of these topics presented by the Illinois Council on Teaching Foreign Language and the American Association of Teachers of French.
In my last class at DePaul (T&L425 Curriculum and Instruction in Secondary Education – I ended up scheduling things a little backwards), we were tasked with writing our teaching philosophy. Reflecting on all of the information I had learned and the experiences I had had, it is clear that I have grown. I developed upon my original thoughts and ideals and created a philosophy that that clearly reflects who I am as a teacher.