To the English Department at A University.

Chinmin Institute of Technology is closing down its AFL Department, and I am now looking for another job, so I wish to apply for the contract-based positions teaching English at your university. I think I would be an asset to your school.

For the seven years I have been in Taiwan at Chinmin, I have been working with lower-level, unmotivated students. With these students, I had to rework the way I teach. I had to move away from pairwork and groupwork to work with the whole class, because the students were generally unwilling to use English unless the teacher was observing them.

Instead, for homework I had them work in pairs doing simple dictation exercises that I hoped they might be willing to do in English. I attempted to prevent the collusion that I thought was more likely in this homework by making the partners adversaries. Whether I was successful in preventing collusion is debatable, but overall I think I did an excellent job of creating favorable attitudes to English and to schoolwork among these students, at the same time as I significantly raised their levels of achievement. I certainly seem to have gained their respect.

My success was partly the result of my technique, the result of the activities I devised to get them to do to use English to learn the language, and partly the result of the personal warmth I felt and showed to them as my students, the result of who I am as a person. No doubt the latter is more important than the former. I place more importance on the technique however. I wish to continue developing that technique.

Now, I am ready to apply the lessons I have learned here to the practice I developed before in Korea where I also taught university students. I believe I am well suited to teaching at the university level. Even though my master's is not in TESOL, my native intelligence, my background in psychology and my extensive reading in TESOL and applied linguistics fit me for an academic position.

I am more interested in the practice, that is, in teaching itself, than in the theory, that is, in knowledge about learning and language, but I also recognize, as Kurt Lewin noted, that there is nothing as practical as a good theory. I hope that your department is also interested in such a collaboration between theory and practice. If it is, I look forward to working with you at your university developing superior speakers and writers of the English language.