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Sample Statement of Purpose for TESOL

I love language because it carries beauty and thought. While the study of languages seems monotonous and meticulous to many people, to me it is an unfathomable ocean of fun. My initiation of English study originated from my obsession to literary aestheticism. It was a step-by-step aesthetic pilgrimage to the glorious palace of western literature when I started from ABC on, then read simple passages, later moved onto the beautiful essays and poetry and at last plunged into the classics by literary masters.

Literary works are the inspirations from writers’ hearts. William Shakespeare and his plays, Francis Bacon and his philosophy, the poetry by William Wordsworth and Percy B. Shelley and the novels by Thomas Hardy and Mark Twain, they displayed to me the sharp and unique observations of writers on nature as well as on life, touring me to the underlying beautiful world of nature as well as revealing the truths of the multi-faceted life. If only you listen to this---- “the palm and may make country house gay, lambs frisk and play, the shepherds pipe all day and we hear aye birds tune this merry lay”, only a few words and yet you are already in spring with its loveliness and vivacity. And there’s Shelley, saving you from the abyss of infernal despair with only one stroke of his pen, “if winter comes, can spring be far behind?”

It is precisely this enjoyment of the beauty of English resulting from my reading of literary classics that inspired my own impulses to write. I tried to record my own observations of nature and my own perceptions of life with the tentative skills in English writing. The more I practiced, the more I became interested in English composition. Furthermore, I developed the habit of thinking in English when writing my compositions. These two reciprocally benefiting processes contributed to my unparalleled aptitudes in written English in my class. The joy of reading English and writing English reinforced my already deep love for English language as a whole. It convinced me that I would be willing to make painstaking efforts whatsoever as long as I could keep improving my command of this fascinating language. With my strong interests and relentless persistence, I did very well in my academic performance, obtaining first-class scholarships twice and was even granted the Japanese International Simitomo Scholarship, an award only given to the best in specialty studies.

My good performance in coursework has never made me complacent. Whether in coursework or in extracurricular activities, I have always exploited an important quality in character--perseverance. I was an elite member of the basketball team in my department and together with my teammates many times won the championship of interdepartmental basketball competitions. I organized my department’s drama performance and personally played the role of the beast in Beauty and Beast. It was a challenge and a test to the limitation of my potentiality. To do it well, I spent so much time on English pronunciation, acting, facial expression etc. In the end it won us the silver medal in the all-university match.

Another important quality in my character is passion. First, it is a passion for English language and literature, which has served as the powerful motivation in my studies of them. I believe that there is another aspect about my passion—the impulse to share my knowledge of English language and my perceptions of life with others. This impulse to share with other has led me to believe that a teaching career would be my best alternative. I simply want to share with others my passion for English language and literature in particular and my passion for life in general. It is well-said that “for education to be an enriching experience, the meanings that emerge must become personal, and they must be significant and important in some part of the person’s life.” My concept of a teacher is that a teacher should not merely act as a gateway to knowledge. A person can become a better teacher by influencing students with his or her passion, enthusiasm, and dedication, by exposing students to the beauty of the things that are being taught. As a future teacher, I will try to be not only very competent in imparting professional knowledge but also skillful in imbuing my unique teaching style with an inspiring passion. I will make my teaching a lifelong benefit to students and a spiritual reward to myself.

Today, English study has become one of the most important tasks for every Chinese student. In spite of that, we consider it regrettable that there is unformed yet any scientific and effective English education system in China. To most of the Chinese students, English study is excessively tedious and unrewarding. Apart from the historical and cultural reasons, we ascribe this unsatisfactory phenomenon to the lacking of a completely scientific English education system. The old English education system paid little attention to practicality and so to most of the students it was sheer learning and no using at all. To solve that problem, it is very important to stimulate students’ interests in using the language. Mine originated in one of my homework. It was in my sophomore years when my teacher assigned to us the writing of a composition, supposedly on his teaching. Today I still remember the underlying red inks presented to me from my teacher: “As a bonus to your creativity”. It greatly motivated me toward English teaching. Later I studied, by myself, the Cambridge Books For Language Teachers series, including Psychology for Language Teachers, Second Language Teacher Education etc. Through these I realized that language teaching was an art. It involved English language for sure and that was not all. Knowledge of psychology, linguistics, computer assisted education etc. were all necessities in it.

Considering the present English teaching conditions in China, I think the key for students to effectively study English is motivation and interests. To achieve that end, for a person like me, determined to be an English teacher, it is of vital importance to systematically study the advanced teaching methods such as contemporary language teaching theory and methodology, computer-assisted language learning and rational study evaluation processes. Ohio University draws my attention exactly in that it provides the courses that suit me best.

My tentative study plan for better completing your TESOL program is three-staged. First I will make a speedy psychological re-orientation—to transform my role from that of a student to that of a teacher, focusing on how to convey knowledge of English effectively. After this necessary adjustment, I will endeavor to learn the prevailing theories and methodologies of English language teaching from diverse schools of thought on the basis of my own experience of English learning. After laying a solid theoretical foundation, I will seek all the available opportunities to participate in various workshops, seminars, lectures and conferences on and off campus related to TESOL. I will definitely do internship as English teaching is an art that must be practiced more than theorized. Through practice, I will discover my strengths and my weaknesses in my English teaching. In undertaking those activities, I will contribute my uniquely Chinese experiences and perspectives on English teaching. I will also be concerned about the problems that my classmates might encounter in their individual teaching experience, especially those culturally-related problems. Finally, I will focus on a specific topic for writing my dissertation—Cultural Barriers in English Teaching. This is perhaps the biggest problem in English teaching in China as the Chinese language and culture are very different from those as represented by English language.

My career objective after completing my TESOL program is to return to China to seek a teaching position at the English Department of a major Chinese university where I can apply what I have learned from your TESOL program. I will join an academic association of English teaching. I will consciously guide my English teaching with the specific TESOL principles to make my practice effective and fruitful. Meanwhile, I will do extensive research work with a view to popularizing this notion, that English teaching is not only an art but also a science. My ultimate career objective is to develop myself into a specialist in China in the field of English teaching.

It has long been my dream to be an excellent English teacher. China is a country where education has historically been highly regarded. I would love it if I could, through my education in Ohio University, to contribute my share to the future development of English education in China and all over the world.


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