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Sample Personal Statement for TESOL

In the thousands of years’ human history, there has never been a country that blended itself with the outside world faster than China is doing right now. Today the Chinese people are displaying unprecedented emphasis and fanaticism towards English study. As the most populous country in the world, China is proud of more English learners than any other country in the world. This is especially the case after it joined WTO when the demand for English experts increases by the day. As a graduate from English department, I have a clear vision of the present state and the promising future of English teaching in China.

To our disappointment, the enthusiasm and quantity are not merited by quality and English teaching in China is being maneuvered into a dire corner. The lack of scientific guideline and the need of profound theory of linguistics and education as its support may be the answers, among others. As a result, we are in want of not only effective teaching methodology, but also the mechanisms for feedback, testing, evaluation and comparison. On the other hand, empirical ideology and out of date teaching methods prevail in the teaching practice, which results in deplorably impotent education and serious resource exhaustion.

On the other hand, Language is not isolated. It has, as its background, profound culture, without the understanding of which, language study would not only be ineffective, but also to no avail. Yet presently in China, what English teachers learn is purely concerned with language itself, brooding a deplorable lack in a deeper understanding of western culture and thinking modes. During the process in which China is opening fast to the outside world, English is a vital means, a superficial knowledge of which will bring more harm than good to our cause. For that reason, the renovation of English education, an honorable duty of the English specialists, proves to be a must. Thereby I apply to your school for PHD of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Yours is an accomplished one in TESOL, with first class teachers, scientific curricula, bountiful research achievements and heuristic teaching ideology. Above all, English teaching is particularly featured in your school, where I will be ingratiated with the opportunity to get acquainted with original English culture and the integration of various cultures as well. After serious consideration, I came to the conclusion that your school suited me the best.

The application is not filed without careful thoughts. Currently I am working in a bank, where the income and social status are quite respectable in China. Moreover, my English ability and 10 years excellent professional experience render me a promising future. In spite of that, as a graduate from the English department, I am often lost in an unexplainable despondent mood. Considering my personal interests and inclination, it would be unimaginable to spend my whole life in the bank, where my specialty could not be fully exploited whereas teaching English would make it possible. Overseas study is the only way for me to change my career.

Certainly I am clearly aware of the academic requirement for application to study in your school. Yet with inspective reflection, I come to be confident of it. Owing to an instinctive love for the English language, my English study performance has been ranked in the forefront since primary school. In the university, I made full use of the 4 years time and for 5 semesters I was granted scholarships. In the end, I boasted the second highest scores in passing the English Proficiency Test Band 8 among the students of the same grade in my department, of whom only one out of six managed to be successful. Out of my strong interest in American literature, my graduation thesis was decided on the title of Commentary on Sister Carrie, in which using rich references, convincing evidences and creative analysis, I provided my commentary as to the artistic and ideological achievements of the great masterpiece, which with its original and persuasive conclusion completed my university education with perfection.

During the 4 years university study, the comprehensive development in my listening, speaking, writing and reading abilities was well balanced. With the substantial curricula and sufficient references, a solid foundation was laid in Guangsi University, where I especially preferred extensive reading and English literature. In extensive reading class, my teacher, a copy a week, provided materials, whereby I covered many brilliant books on literature, history and culture. Besides I was also a voracious and voluntary reader in the library, absorbing nutrients from a great variety of English works. Another of my favorites was English Literary History, into which my American teacher filled much of culture and history alongside the 17th and 18th centuries’ literary works and turned the lesson into a kind of enjoyment. In the senior years, I got a better idea of the rich origin, the theoretical modes and the development process of the English language through higher-level courses such as linguistics, lexicology, literary history and literature study etc, where I was further introduced to the beauty and profundity of the English language.

Owing to the special feature of credit card department and international settlement department where I worked, I dealt with large quantities of English documents in my daily work. The conventions we followed in our work were also in English. By and by my ability in using the language was greatly improved. Besides, I also persisted in my English study and intentionally read and collected, through internet, library and so on, books and references such as English grammar, language acquisition, methodology of teaching English to speakers of other languages and cross-cultural communication, etc to get myself prepared for further education in specialty study.

My love of English teaching is inborn. In my spare time, I applied what I learned into practical teaching work and gave theory a chance to perfect itself in practice. In my English teaching, I emphasized the comprehensive ability of listening, speaking, writing and reading and I exploited many teaching method suitable for Chinese people such as situational teaching, happy teaching etc. The quick progress of my students’ comprehensive English level in the shortest possible time was the evidence of my success.

Undoubtedly the United States leads the world in the theoretical research and practice of TESOL, I plan to learn first the theory on the English studying process of students of other languages and at the same time, English teaching methodology, i.e. how a teacher deals with the problems found in the students and helps them achieve good study results. Moreover, I will get further acquainted with the language and culture, communicate with the locals and enhance my own comprehensive ability of the English language. I believe outstanding research achievements will be obtained through my careful observation, mindful reflection plus my creativity and inspiration.

Back from overseas education, I intend to go in for English teaching in a top university in China first and eventually establish an English teaching school of my own, where I will be actively engaged in searching for the English studying method that best suits the Chinese people to turn out more students with skillful mastery of English, the personnel required in China’s economic construction.


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