26) In Middle East or in Europe the teacher was or still is like a father or mother, also spiritual father or mother . We learn to love the students and try to transfer our knowledge and experience to them. Please, describe your management style in the class room. I always tried that the whole class flow my lessons and be active in the class room. If I thought a student is not prepared, I asked him/her so they know that they should learn. For young people I explained that they have brand new brain and if they learn now, it is much better and easier than later. Sorrowfully in the USA the teacher does not have the same authority like in the past and we cannot force the students to learn. The only way that we can motivate the students to learn is just admire. 27) Describe how you ensure student understanding of taught concepts:As I explained before, by asking and taking all students in the discussion or asking questions. I tried to find out who did not understand and I asked him/her the lesson again. I asked always after the lesson, it they did understand and if they have any questions. Some students shy to ask, so I take some students or some sample and asked them about the materials , my students with the time know that they have to learn and they know if they do not learn , I will ask them again and again, until I am sure that they know the subjects. 28) Describe how you facilitate student engagement in learning:As you know in the past the students have to learn, and if they did not learn, they have been punished. from teachers and parents. Both sides were agreeing that the students should learn. Now the students have more freedom not to learn. So the only way that we can use is to reward them and encourage them or give them some advantages. So they will be happy to learn. Or to ask them so many time, until we are sure that they did understand. To have the students active in the class help us to know if they are working with interest or not. In Arabic they say, to learn o time, but repeat thousand times, in this way you know. 29) In your last teaching position, please describe how you implemented your teaching philosophy The teaching philosophy is to transfer the knowledge to young people, so they do not need to have the same experience to learn everything from beginning It clear that the problems the world is now facing is ignorance and the lack of knowledge. Everybody thinks what he knows or she knows is the fact and they do not respect other knowledge and other experience and for this reason we have so many problem in the world. By learning another language, we can understand other people may be with other culture much better. Behind a language is also a culture or a religion hidden. Some times even the interpretation of one religion brings the people against each other. Some people are proud of what they know and they think they know better and everything. Knowledge and languages may be help the people to have a better understanding and a better focus of the life. If we learn other languages we can understand other people much easier and we can cooperate much better. A lot of money is spending for hate which has its routs in ignorance and the lack of knowledge. If we are knowledgeable we can understand and think better and we can also be more successful in the life.
30) What does learner-centered instruction mean to you?Time is gold and knowledge is power, if the people can understand better, they will have a better life. Cooperation and working together needs a better understanding and a better thinking. If we can train the people to understand better and learn better, we will have less and less problem in the world. Why the people hate each other, because of the wrong and false information, if we can search and read by ourselves, we can understand much better, but if we are dependent to other people to explain everything for us and read and say to us, they may change the matter in their own benefits. The center of the life is knowledge , if we do not have enough knowledge we will be like a dull or robot or even animals, who just has a limited action and or a limited function. 31) What do you feel are the top 5 characteristics of a successful language teacher?1 Try to use a direct method that mean, he /she should not use the mother language or other languages to communicate with the students. For example if he shows a pen and say the word pen, the students will keep the word of pen with a real picture of pen in their mind and they do not need to translate from their own mother language. It is easier and faster. 2- He/she should ask the students so much that every body should know the matter or the subject completely if all students do not repeat the matter, in the time they are out of the class they may forget the whole thing. The words or sentences should be seen, write and speak clear, so every body can have a nice picture in their brain from the subject. 3-Action, we can ask the students also act the subject with simple sentence that they know and with the limited vocabulary they already learned. 4- We can use all senses for learning, seeing, listening, acting, writing and playing with the words and subjects they learned. 5-We can also ask a student to come in front of the class and even teach and play the role of the teacher, so in this way they will have mastery about the subject.
32) Describe the steps you take to motivate students to learn in general and on a daily basis:The best way is to make the students active in the class, they should listen carefully and should be ask continuously no students should stay behind and be passive in the classroom. The student should come sometimes in front of the class and speak about what they learned or make little conversation or actions in the front. Play role or saying jokes in the target languages bring more fun and let the people keep the matter better in their mind. Some students have the abilities to lean by fun and jokes. May be to learn a lot of short jokes and short funny stories will help the students keep the words and sentence better in their brain and use it easier. The first step is to see a picture and know the name of the picture. If we show later the picture or pictures they should be able to say the words for those pictures. Or later we can show them a combination of a lot of pictures and they should speak about the whole idea. For example we can show them a picture of a kitchen and they can explain about the kitchen. Or picture of the body and they can name the part of the body and later they can use them in short sentences. For example we can see with eyes. After that we can let them to build a paragraph and or more sentences. Or a little conversation about a simple matter with their class mates.
33) Do you have experience with language curriculum development? If so, describe your experience and the process you went through to develop the curriculum. A language is an unlimited area. But we can teach part of it to the students. The language that we need for a simple conversation needs about 500 words and the language we need for a higher conversation; we need to know 3000 words. We should also know the grammar and the structures of the language. For example we should know the verbs and their conjugation for example I go and not I goes. Or I went and not I go yesterday. Or I will go tomorrow .and not I went tomorrow? The simple explanation about the tenses and preposition or adjectives is the minimum that the people should learn first and use it. The students should know that the sentence for example in English is Subject verb object and each adjective describe the name and is before the name. For example, the good tall , handsome friendly, boy with a blue coat came with her sister here yesterday. Or He gave me a book. If we say he book give , it is funny in English, but for example is Persian it is correct, because over there the verb is at the end of the sentence. In English there are also auxiliary verbs which are different than main verb and the students should know the differences between the auxiliary verb and main verb. , there are 24 auxiliary verb in English and they are different from the main verbs. The auxiliary verb can take the role of negative position I go not is not good, but I do not go or Go I? is not clear but Do I go? After them there is no need to put to for example I can go but I want to go. Also in
34) If you are asked to teach a course and the students have vastly different levels of proficiency in the language (i.e., some with no previous experience and others with course experience), how would handle this teaching assignment? That is a good question. In the past I had classes, that nobody knows anything and I started from very beginning and go through all the grammar from A to Z . But I had classes as you said with different level. So if you start from very beginning it is boring for some students and if you start a little be higher, the other students cannot follow I tried to make two or three groups of students and with group I worked almost separately.
The good students could listen to the weaker ones also for review or they could repeat. After a while, some weak students who had interest and were motivated reach a better level. Generally after the course, still there is some differences between the students and all of them are not in the same level of knowledge. Or some students, who had more knowledge, could help the others so in this way that they teach, they lean more and they get mastery concerning the language. Or they can act their knowledge and by this acting as a teacher , they could be much better, because as a teacher you should be active and know almost all details. 35) If you were teaching a foreign language class that was job-based (all learners were acquiring the language for job purposes only), how would your instructional approach differ from a traditional academic classroom?Any way all the students should know the basic grammar and the basic words and verbs. As I said before, for exampl, in English, you have to know the difference between verbs, none, adjective and adverbs, you should know prepositions and adverbs of time, place and action You should know that adverbs describe the verbs or other adverbs. They should recognize the adjective and its function that they describe a none, and a none can have a lot of them and all of them should come before none. They should know about the tenses and how we make the tenses. They should know that the verb in English had three parts for example go went gone which is irregular. All the irregular verbs should be learned by heart and a good teacher will write them big and hang in the class. Every day the students will see them and with the time, they will recognize them They should know basic structure of the sentences for example present is build Subject plus the first part of the verb I go and only she , he goes.
They got es at the end. They should know also the first person singular and plural, second and third person singular and plural. They should know that for the simple past we use the second part of the verb for example He went. And for future we use will or shall plus the first part of the verb, this basic knowledge of grammar should be used and learned with all students who want to know English at all I will go or for present perfect we use the third part of the verb for example I have gone and so on and if we change have to had , we have present perfect and again in present perfect the third person singular has a different form not Have but Has. After they have mastery about the simple grammar and simple words, we can use technical words for them. They need to know some normal and general words and verbs and they should know the important auxiliary verbs and preposition to understand the function of the sentences. Later they can learn more technical words and phrases If somebody wants to paint, he should know the colors and their function and how they can use them or he/she should be able to know the lines and can draw simple different lines. Or if somebody wants to learn dance , he/she should walk first properly. The basic grammar and the basic words and verbs, preposition and … should be learned any way. We can add later different words and different technical, medical or engineering words to the vocabulary of the students.
36) How would you handle a classroom setting where learners were frequently absent? What steps would you take to ensure all learners have equal learning opportunities?The students who are absent from the class, should be take care by the teacher or the teacher can ask one of the student to help them and give some credit to that student who help. In this way it is a repeat for him/her and a help for the students who were absent. Generally that method will be good and beneficial for both of them. The teacher can check and supervise them, if the job is done perfect or not. After that try, the teacher can ask the students who were absent some questions, if they learned the subjects. 37) Please provide any additional information or comments that may help in our decision process In the old Persian they say , if the teaching is combined with love, the child even will come to school on holidays. Or the punishment of the teacher is more worth that the love of parent. In the past the punishment was sometimes even very cruel and some students have been seriously injured by the crazy teachers who were out of their own control. For this reason now we are in the extreme other side. We cannot even touch the students and they are free to do what ever they want, they do not respect the teacher and make fun of them. And the teacher is not allowed to correct them. I think in both way the children are and were abused. Because too much freedom; the same as too much punishment. Because; later, the police and judge do not forgive the child so easily, who did a mistake or they do a mistake so easily. A little bit punishment in the school can protect the children in the society and they are not punished by judge and police? Again in Persian we say who take an egg and is not punished slightly, later will take the horse and will punish badly. Sorrowfully now in the Middle Eastern countries and freedom of children and even other people is ignored and the people are misused and abused as children or even adult. And the biggest problem is the ignorance which allows the bad people or charlatan misuse and abuses them. I think the knowledge should bring the people closer and together and also with thinking and refer to knowledge we can solve the problem in the world much easier. I had students from all over the world. European, American, Asian Africans. And I tired to help them as far as I could. I wrote a lot of short stories in Persian, English and German. The subjects of most of them are my students and their futures. A lot of Persian students of mine have been killed or persecuted in Iran, even I have been persecuted by the people who are dictator and they think only they have right. Here is one of my real stories, a real story as a sample. I hope that we with cooperation love and just can build a much better world as what we have now.
The young girl, about seventeen years old, steps firmly to the death place; Mona Mahmundizhad, one of my best students, was persecuted in Iran (Persia), because she was Bahá’í.
The Bahá’í religion is a world religion which began in Persia. Bahá’ís believe in the oneness of God, the oneness of religion, and the unity of mankind. Bahá’ís strive to eliminate all prejudices of race, nationality, and religion. And Bahá’ís respect that all religions have come from the same God, in different times, to guide mankind.
The revolutionary Islamic court in Shiraz, Iran persecuted Mona, and now they wanted to perform her execution.
Mona was walking very firmly towards the place of execution without any doubt or fear. She was singing Bahá’í songs and was walking like an angel towards her place of death. The people who were looking at this heroine were all crying and their faces were wet with tears. The eyes of her Moslem friends were shining from the tears and their faces were red; Mona was the only one not crying, and she was not sorry about what would happen to her in a few minutes. The reflection of God was in her face and she was sure that what she was doing was right and correct.
The Moslem people around her were singing Moslem songs, quietly. Some of them were singing in a very low voice while crying about this cruel situation and what would happen in a few minutes. The Bahá’ís who were there were singing the Bahá’í songs, “Sobuhon Ghoduson Rebeana Ve Reben Malaekaten Ve Ruh” The Moslems were singing “Alah o akbar” and the Baha’I were singing “Alláh-u-Abhá, Alláh-u-Abhá”.
My friend Djalal, who was there as Mona’s teacher, told me the following story in the hopes that the message of Mona would reach the people:
“I could not believe that what I was seeing was real.
She, the young girl, was so in love with God that she was ready to be killed for Him and His glory. For her faith. And I, her poor teacher, must be there – without any power to save her. I have to watch the execution of one of my best students; I am a helpless person and can see the injustice to this young girl who has no crime in her life. The only crime that the so-called Islamic court could prove was that she was Bahá’í. A young, nice, intelligent, lovely, friendly and pure girl, who should be walking to the university to study and should have her whole life and future in front of her, was going to be executed because she was Bahá’í. And, who had signed her document but a Moslem who must be the follower of Imam Hossein, who was killed by Jazid in Karbella with all his family; his wife, children and even a little baby. The Jazid had cut off the water from them; so in the hot summer day of Kerbella, these holy people had no water to drink and must fight with these cruel people. He had been killed and for three days his body, and the bodies of his family, were left under the hot burning sun of the Kerbella Dessert. We had always cried for his death and the cruel situation in Kerbella, and now one of his followers had signed the death document for Mona.
“Her friends and classmates were there and were crying very bitterly; but Mona was firm and was singing with love and joy.
“The revolution of Iran, which should have been a religious revolution and should have lead the people to God’s way, was now eating the innocent people and children.
Which dirty hand in the revolution would like to paint a black page for Islamic history? I was Moslem, my father was Moslem, and he loved all the people around him. He always said to me, ‘Djalal, you must respect all other people and their religion, and even if they have a false religion, you must respect them so they will respect our prophet. If you say bad words about their false prophet or god, they will do the same thing to our real and pure God.” Now I was seeing the Moslems killing young, innocent children; my students, who were like my children. I could imagine that one day they might kill my little girl and that she must walk to her death place.
“Mona was a very good and friendly student of mine. She always helped the other students and laughed in a friendly way with them. She liked the younger students and helped them with their homework. Her parents were very proud of her. She was also, as I had heard, a teacher for the Bahá’í Friday school for younger students, which was another crime the Islamic court could prove.
“Her parents were very proud of her. I, as her teacher, was there to watch her die. Helpless and poor, I could not change this injustice and had to accept this way of cruelty.
I wish that I had the power to do something more for my beloved student than just stand there and cry. I did know that any wrong movement would mean my death also, and I did not think my death would help my student.
“In Persia, the teacher is like a father or mother, and they love the students like their own children – so for me it was like I was watching my own child being killed by the Islamic court. My mother, who was a Moslem believer, said to me that she would pray for my student who was to be killed by an unjust court.
“Why should people be so cruel to each other and why should they kill each other just because they have other thoughts or religions, which had been given to them by their parents anyway? She was like my daughter and was very polite and friendly to me. I was very sorry to see all this happening to her and sometimes I could not believe that what I was seeing was real. My eyes were full of hot tears, burning my skin as they ran down my face.
My feet were shivering as I saw that Mona was close to her death place. She behaved like a hero without any doubt, sorrow or fear. She was looking firmly in front of her and her dark eyes were shining with the love of God. The people who persecuted her could not see this love and purity. They were blind and could not see the light of God. I did not know why the love for God that Mona was demonstrating now would not move the people that had signed her execution. Were their hearts made of stone or did their business, money and power blind them? Why could not the people see the light and glory of God, which was reflected by Mona?
“Mona walked to her execution place, took the execution rope, kissed it and put it around her neck. The voice of the Moslems who were singing Moslem songs now changed to the Bahá’í song which Mona was singing. Now all the Moslems and Bahá’ís were singing the same song. They were united in song, the Bahá’í song which Mona was singing. All were full of sorrow and sadness. She died at 17 years of age, but her spirit and how she died, I will never forget. I hoped that the other people that saw this would never forget.
Any human being should be ashamed to kill innocent people for their beliefs or for the beliefs of their parents.
“Many other Persian girls and boys have been killed by the Islamic Revolution Court and their only crime was that they were Bahá’í. What could they do; as their parents were Bahá’í so they were Bahá’í also. Some of them were my students. Why should I teach them to be killed by the Islamic court? My work was a useless work. I became very depressed and could not teach anymore.”
Djalal, my friend who was telling this story, looked in my eyes. His eyes were red because he cried so much for his students who were killed. I could feel the warm tears on my face as well. He said, ” What can we do? Only cry for this cruelty?” Should we just sit and look at what the cruel people do as they misuse religion and humanity to kill in the name of God the innocent boys and girls, our students? I thought God gave us a heart full of His love so that we could love and understand each other and each other’s children. But these cruel people do not use even their simple understanding for the other people and in the name of God they kill children of God. And they claim that they believe in God. Djalal could not teach in the schools of Iran anymore and he was so sad that I was worried he would soon loose his mind. He said, “How can I be in the class and see the children whom I should teach?
The faces of other students who were killed are in front of me and I see in each of the other students, the face of Mona. I cannot teach anymore and see the innocent children who could also be killed by the Islamic Court”.
Djalal left me that day. I was always looking for him and I went many times to his house to visit him. The last time that I saw him he was very depressed and his hair had turned white during those years. When I rang his bell, his daughter opened the door. I saw her face, an Iranian girl with the same eyes and face as Mona. I saw in her face the face of Mona. The girl invited me into the house and to her father’s room. Djalal was reading a book. He saw me and stood up to shake my hand. ” You see, Amir, my girl. I saw always the face of Mona in her face. Maybe the same situation will happen to my daughter one day and they will kill her as they killed Mona.”
Djalal; we should work for a goal as Mona worked for a goal. We should work so that our children will have a nice free country, and we should work against this cruelty. I know that maybe they will kill us too, but we must not give up and must try.
Freedom has its cost and Mona paid that cost for us. Look at history; many people have been killed because they wanted justice, but they did not give up, they followed their ways without fear or doubt. I know that many young people have been killed, but one day our children will enjoy this freedom. Mona did her part, and we must do our part too.
I think, Djalal, you have been right. And I know that it is very hard for you to see all these cruel things. But we should give the message of Mona to the whole world because they have to know what has happened. The Iranian organizations, which call themselves organizations for humanity and human rights, should understand what they have done to the young and innocence in the Name of God. I hope that one day the message of Mona will reach the people who have God in their hearts and are willing to listen to the words of God. The people who can open their hearts to God, and who are pure, will listen.
I am not a Baha’i ,but I borrowed money to one of my best Moslem friend and in response of my help he wrote to the government of Iran that I am a Baha’i so I have been persecuted as a Baha’i and my jobs and other belonging have been taken from me. My sister who was married to a Baha’i told me come t here and you will have jobs and everything. She has told me this for many years and I have sent her money to buy for me houses in the USA. Her husband who is a Baha’i wrote to me , too..
Come here and everything will be OK. He thought I cannot come here and Iranian government will kill me as a Baha’i , he hoped. Or I cannot come to the USA. As I was here he told me per telephone “do not come to us if you come I will call the police” So you can see the Moslem friends, Baha’i family and government were not nice to me. Please help me in this regard that at least the other people should not make the same mistake that I did. Yours Amir