Good Statement Of Purpose: TESOL Personal Statement Example
Type of paper: Personal Statement
Topic: English, Education, Students, Experience, Language, Teaching, University, TESOL
“You is fine tank you” are the words that I shall never forget. Nor will I forget my father's deep embarrassment that was clearly evident on his face. It was what he had intended as his polite response in front of some guests on a special occasion, when a foreigner had asked him “How are you?” Whilst he thought he had replied correctly, it was actually very broken and basic English. This situation made me angry for him, and spurred me to take up English studies and become bilingual.
My fascination with the English language began on the first day of English classes, way back in high school. I had been exposed to a great deal of English in the media and elsewhere in my home country, and relished the opportunity to learn it so that I could not only understand and use it myself, but because I knew even then that English is a world language and would be an important attribute for me in the future. Over time, that initial fascination became a passion as I decided to major in English language at university. I successfully applied to the College of Languages and Translation at King Saud University (KSU), which is ranked top in Saudi Arabia and among the top 10 in the Middle East.
Back then we were just a poor family, living in a small village. When I had to leave to pursue my bachelor’s degree in the capital city, Riyadh, I found life there to be quite different. Then, as the eldest son in a Saudi family it became my duty and responsibility to take care of them, when sadly my father passed away. As a consequence, I was obliged to work and study at the same time. Also, on several occasions, I had to make a bus journey of circa 1000 km to deal with critical family issues. Regrettably, that situation adversely impacted my academic performance. Although I tried my best to balance my studies and my work commitments, I was not entirely successful, resulting in a lower than hoped for GPA.
After graduation with a bachelor’s degree, I worked for 18 months as a translator in a Saudi-American company. I really enjoyed translating several manuals and documents from English into Arabic and vice versa, and interpreting what American trainers say to the trainees. While working there I was commended for my “remarkable efforts” on a military translation course. Not only did the experience enhance my language skills, but I found that I had a new enthusiasm to achieve my goals and an improved work ethic which resulted in an all-round outstanding performance in my job.
Then, because I felt compelled to share my knowledge of English for the benefit of others, I decided to enter the field of education. For the next six years or so, I taught English as a foreign language in high and middle schools. During that time I was awarded several certificates for outstanding performance. In addition to teaching, I created daily lesson plans for the students in my multi-level adult ESL classes, and employed a range of kinesthetic, visual and auditory approaches to make my lessons interesting and interactive. I also conducted small group and individual classroom activities. Furthermore, in order to maximize my teaching skills and techniques, I attended professional development workshops focused on learning goals and classroom management.
My interest in TESOL grew from my personal experience with ESL teaching and learning. I gained valuable insights into the difficulties Arabic-speaking ESL students face when learning English, and the importance of taking into consideration individual differences, especially in large classes. I now want to carry my interest in TESOL a step further. I have browsed the website of the MA program in TESOL and bilingual education at The University of Findlay and am convinced that this major is the right program for me. The program has a strong mission focus on ESL, matching my professional and scholastic aspirations, and I especially like the fact that all the professors are themselves bilingual and that the class environments are strongly multicultural.
About 16 months ago I enrolled in the ELI at the University of Delaware, to become more familiar with teaching English for EFL. It is also an excellent opportunity to gain experience from the ELI instructors regarding teaching methods. Thereafter, gaining admittance into the Master's program in TESOL will enable me to build on the knowledge and experience I have acquired so far, while I have matured as a person. I firmly believe that the MA studies at the University of Findlay will equip me with the knowledge, experience and research skills that I need in order to succeed in my ongoing career as an English instructor.
Finally, I would like to thank the admissions committee for considering my application and I hope that the committee finds my background, experience and qualifications commensurate with the requirements of the Master’s program in TESOL.