Learning How to Teach How to Learn English as a Second Language: Reflections from Experience, Praxis, and Theory (Vol 1, 2)

Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Arthur Millman


This thesis explores the development of professional expertise in teaching ESL. Such expertise incorporates the methodological instructional knowledge, intercultural awareness, and multilingual competence essential to meeting highly diversified learning needs in US classrooms, facilitating globalization of domestic business interests, and enabling the integration of immigrants into American society. I encourage a view of ESL teachers as craftspersons and intellectuals who integrate a reflective approach toward personal experience and a comprehensive awareness of relevant intellectual constructs into a dialectical interaction with theory and practice. The proverb "to teach is to learn twice" suggests both the challenge and potential dignity of learning a well-honed pedagogical craft. An appreciation of the philosophical context of human language, an understanding of the historical evolution of constructs about language, teaching, and learning attained through research in primary sources, and implementation of pedagogical precepts emerging from classroom practice provide crucial impetus o the growth of the ESL teacher's craft. The author's "kaleidoscopic, Eclectic, Cognitive, Communicative, and Architectonic" (KECCA) approach synthesizes pedagogical awareness into a future-oriented methodology aimed at meeting the multi-faceted needs of learners and teachers alike. In this approach, learners' innate cognitive capacities are challenged by information drawn from highly varied sources and presented in various interactively communicative modes. Skills are taught autonomously but practiced holistically, building into an interwoven and flexible communicative competence in which learners have long-term confidence.


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