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Masters TESOL, Applicant from Pakistan

December 6, 2016

Now that I am close to finishing up my double major in Business and Accounting, I want very much to pursue a Masters in TESOL. Having learned ESL as a child, I find a great deal of personal satisfaction helping others to reach their fullest potential in English and I have a great passion for TESOL because I can personally relate to my students and the difficulties that they face, having once been in their shoes myself.

Born in Pakistan and immigrating with my family to the USA at the age of (X) provided me with opportunities that I would not have had in Pakistan and I am thankful. My father sacrificed his own career, coming to America to drive a cab so that his son could have a better chance at life. My mother was a teacher in Pakistan and both of my parents instilled in me from early on a great appreciation for learning. Coming to the United States at X years old and not knowing a word in English, I was nevertheless an ambitious child who loved to learn. Even my mother the teacher did not attend college in Pakistan, and so I became the first one in my family to do so, our family’s realization of the American dream. My choice to become a TESOL professional is ultimately grounded in my experience during my first day at school in America, with my ESL teacher helping me to say “My name is” with correct pronunciation. Within weeks, not months, I was standing up in front of the entire class and speaking in full sentences because she gave me the courage to do so. This teacher is my most fundamental of many great inspirations along the way and I will always seek to carry her warmth and enthusiasm with me as an ESL teacher for many decades to come.

I date my career in ESL from my first teaching experience during my sophomore year in college, teaching my younger cousins recently arrived from Pakistan. This was my first full immersion experience as a teacher, all that summer, and they were ready for school when September came. I would fall asleep at night dreaming up new learning activities. I used action games like Simon says, word games and flashcard drills: listening, speaking, reading and writing, the LSRW method. All that summer, I was transported back in time to when I learned English after my arrival, at about their age. Thus, I was so fully aware of how much their future depended on my efforts as a teacher; and this drove me forward to excel. That same year, a good friend of mine asked if I might be interested in tutoring children in an after school program and I readily accepted. I especially enjoyed the great diversity of this classroom, helping students between the ages of 4-10 with their homework. My students were struggling in reading and writing as well as math and science so I found the post most challenging but I persevered. This first classroom experience helped me to better appreciate the great uniqueness of each child and his or her learning challenges and strengths. I addressed these challenges and played to these strengths by developing interactive activities, working closely with them one-on-one.

For the past year-and-a-half I have been volunteering at another after school ESL Program for children aged 7-12, preparing lessons and working one-on-one with the children tutoring their pronunciation, doing a lot of listening exercises. I often tell my students about the times when I was about their age and had the same difficulties in speaking English. By building rapport and relating my childhood with theirs, I have been able to give them the confidence they need to not feel embarrassed when they make mistakes. I love the smiles on their faces when they write out or speak a whole sentence correctly.

 I have also worked in retail sales and customer service, completed an internship in Human Resources, and volunteered for a non for profit organization which assisted people in filing their taxes. I currently manage a group of developers who are helping me to create an Iphone app and whenever I am free on the weekend I drive a yellow taxi. Driving a taxi has provided me with many unique opportunities for cross-cultural communication and I have learned many valuable lessons in communication that are directly relevant to ESL instruction; since I pick up people from all different backgrounds and tourists from many other countries who speak very little English.

After I complete my masters in TESOL at XXXX University, I plan to travel and teach, see the world, and at some point return to Pakistan to help with our advancement in ESL instruction in my country of origin, which needs an enormous amount of support in the area of language instruction.

I thank you for considering my application to XXXX University. 

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