My Teaching Philosophy
I have been Deaf since birth. My life journey growing up, learning, absorbing, experiencing, and facing challenges. The culmination of these life experiences made me realize my values: Access, Communication, and Language. How does my teaching philosophy support these core values? American Sign Language (ASL) is a language used within the Deaf community. Can one simply learn the language alone? One must immerse themselves into the tapestry of the Deaf world: culture, community, history, identity, issues, and so forth.
My philosophy consists of a combination of sociocultural awareness and understanding with these approaches: Natural Approach, Content-Based Instruction, and Community Language Learning.
Prior to teaching ASL and materials in-depth, I take the opportunity to establish connections with my students, mentors, or participants utilizing the Natural Approach. They might feel nervous, shy, or uncertain. There is an importance in creating a comfortable environment and employing the affective filter that enables them to be comfortable, be curious, ask questions, learn enthusiastically, and immerse themselves in our world. I inquire about their experiences, opinions, and perspectives towards the Deaf community and once we discuss their overall insights, the foundation is set for Interactive Learning: practice by doing activities, signing, and conversing with each other. This is supported by i + 1 Hypothesis which models scaffolding learning that builds comprehension, experiences, and skills which will motivate them to interact with the real world.
To cover various topics, Content-Based Instruction provides and supports training and workshops for interpreters, parents, and professionals who work in industries such as entertainment, education, politics, medical, legal, and so forth. I teach accessibility designs for information content and distribution, communication modalities, and various language functions and their use. All of these values are taught and given to you.
These values are incorporated into Community Language Learning. How so? As a society, we learn about ourselves and others by sharing our beliefs, experiences, and perspectives, interacting and immersing ourselves in the Deaf community and the world.
My philosophy is supported by a sociocultural point of view toward learning and teaching. The American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Language has their standards on the 5 C’s: Communication, Cultures, Connection, Comparison, Communities.
As an educator, my obligation is to provide support and ensure your success as you become involved within the Deaf community and learn ASL. In the beginning, learning to sign can be challenging. Over time, you will eventually master the language.
Once again, the importance of access, communication, and language for everyone!