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OPENING STATEMENT

I hope your journey through my portfolio will provoke your own creativity.        

This conference (Sandanona) was a culmination - as purported - of our experiential and multifaceted learning at SIT. Reflecting on each presentation gave me an understanding of the powers of our multicultural world and how we must enable others to gain that power with every skill and fervor we can muster. I see connectivity throughout each fundamental idea presented. The recurrent themes of authenticity and compassion along every avenue of approach to TESOL opened doors to new directions in my career. I will start with much thirst quenched. Eg., Mark’s interest in using graphics to engage ELL students gave me ideas for creating just such books. Duoji’s concepts and accomplishments for ensuring his culture remains in people’s eyes and hearts opened up deeper thoughts about using my journalism skills with ELL students. And there is much much more I can optimally apply from what I have experienced at SIT. Through this opportunity of Sandanona, I have seen how my peers have each been adding fuel to fires that burn within my own flames.
— France Menk, Sandanona reflection, 2017

 

ESSAYS

You will find a collection of essays which reveal particular facets of my learning at SIT. Subsequent to this introduction is my thematic essay. In it, I have chosen to express my discoveries and thoughts about using translanguaging through creative expression in the teaching of language. The subject is the core of my Sandanona presentation, and a core of my own language teaching and learning. I then present shorter essays covering six competencies in the teaching of language: Language; Culture; Learners & Learning; Teachers & Teaching; Self & Other; and Educational Institutions, Community, & Professional Life. We place great emphasis on these competencies in our program’s experiential approach to learning and teaching. I have written a short introduction to each competency so that you will have a idea of what will follow. Each competency gives rise to four sub-competencies. These come under the acronym, KASA, (knowledge, attitude, skill, awareness) as noted in my glossary. You will meander (I trust happily) through 24 short essays.
I intend these to paint a realistic picture of my learning and growth as a teacher, through my courses at SIT.

As you progress in your reading, you will note my inclusion - at the top of each essay - links to documents and images from my courses, to enrich your reading experience. They are my personal reflections and course presentations on the many aspects of learning and teaching we cover in our MAT program. I have also included commentary by my faculty. I should be a much poorer learner were I not to have this commentary. It has opened my eyes to great introspection. Their commentary has revealed myself to myself, as I would not have known without their astute and kind contributions to my education.

 

 

 

 

 

FEELINGS

Sources for my portfolio are placed in a separate page. You will find abbreviated references to these sources within the essays. There is also source material which is not referred to directly in my essays, but which has a meaningful influence on my growth as a teacher, and my growth as a ruminator of ideas. As a variant to text, I have included two of my podcasts, along with a variety of drawings, cartoons, photographs, and videos, for you to discover and, I hope, enjoy. 

This portfolio has been exciting to write and prepare. It has also been
a struggle. I have - and am - always questioning myself.
“Is this appropriate? Have I given enough evidence for my statements? Have I written too much about one thing and not enough about another? Is it as it is supposed to be?” 

There is so much to write - to tell - to show. I have discovered so much,
I could spend an inordinate amount of time here. Perhaps, someday, I will write about my language-learning-thinking more fulsomely. Through doing this portfolio, I have learned more than I brought to it at the start.
It has helped me see links in my studies I hadn’t, and has shown me places I could have delved into more broadly. 

My goal in TESOL is to produce opportunities for students to integrate their entire fount of language and cultural knowledge into language learning.
And then to take ownership of the power it
bestows to change the world.