Teaching Philosophy 

In order to achieve the goal of teaching novice students American Sign Language (ASL), I have adopted an overall philosophy of language learning that mirrors child language acquisition. The eclectic approaches and methods that I utilize to support my philosophy is as follows: Direct Method, Natural Approach and Interactive Learning. The underlying goal of using a multi-faceted approach is creating a natural language learning environment, in other words, similar to first language acquisition. I create this environment by conducting the class primarily in the target language and sign a level above the students, as described by Krashen’s Input Hypothesis, an important component of the Natural Approach. The emphasis is on active language interaction among students, supporting development of both receptive and expressive language skills. There is little or no translation between the target language and other languages. Additionally, there is little or no analysis of grammar rules and grammar is never taught explicitly. For optimal language learning to occur, class size needs to be small and intensive. Concrete vocabulary is taught through association of ideas. Accurate production, phonology and structure will be indirectly emphasized. I believe by bringing authentic language and culture experiences to the classroom, this will make students become lifelong language learners. 

Brown, H. (2007). Teaching by principles: An interactive approach to language pedagogy. White Plains, NY: Pearson Education, Inc.

© ANDREW R. BOTTOMS 2012