ELL Capstone Portfolio
This portfolio is a reflection upon and culmination of my work in the Master of Education (M.Ed.) program in English Language Learners (ELL) at Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. The paper is divided into three main sections: my teaching philosophy, artifact analyses, and applications to practice. My philosophy of teaching centers upon caring and authentic student-teacher relationships as the foundation of quality teaching, where the classroom is a validating and collaborative space focused on empathy, equity, and inclusivity. As an effective ELL teacher, I will seek to understand the diversity of students’ and families’ linguistic and cultural practices, and use this diversity to frame instruction. My teaching philosophy is informed by theories of culturally responsive care, culturally responsive teaching, translanguaging, and funds of knowledge. The artifact analyses are divided into four professional knowledge areas: learner, the learning contexts, curriculum, and assessment. To carry out the analysis of artifacts from my past teaching experiences, I draw on the theories mentioned above as well as those of comprehensible input, scaffolded instruction, and dialogic teaching, among others. The artifacts analyzed in this paper come from a variety of sources over the course of my study at Peabody College, including a field visit to a culturally and linguistically diverse community in Nashville, a comprehensive classroom ecology plan, and a case study of an ELL student. To conclude this portfolio, I discuss how I will use the theoretical knowledge and practical experiences acquired in the ELL program to inform my teaching moving forward and continually grow as a professional. Additionally, I pose questions that merit further inquiry, both by myself and the ELL education field in general.