Hello. I am new here and glad that I found this forum. I am trying to go to graduate school for teaching English as a Second Language. Currently I live in the USA and have for many many years but would like to move back home to Japan and teach English in a college setting. For this I will need to get my MA. I have written my statement of purpose but feel that it needs to be cleaned up? Please give me your opinion. I will be ever thankful for your help. It is as follows:

When I was a teenager my parents traveled all across the world, I was fascinated by the different cultures and languages that I was exposed to and, later in college, chose to take Korean and English as a foreign language. Having lived abroad for much of my lifetime I understand just how difficult it is to assimilate to a foreign culture and to learn its language. I often wonder what it would have been like for me if I had never learned Japanese as a child before returning to Japan in my last two years of high school. Because of my life experiences I emphasize with those who may not have had the opportunity to learn English as a child or who need further help in continuing as an English language learner.

As a volunteer teacher for Friends of Literacy, and at the YMCA, I meet a variety of individuals in my daily work. A majority of the people whom I work with come from bilingual families that need more help when it comes to expressing themselves in the English language. When working in this type of situation it is very important for you to understand the difficulties that bilingual and immigrant children and their families may face when looking for work or when attending public schools. Some of these difficulties range from the initial cultural shock and language barriers to the fear of being bullied in school for sounding funny to other children. Adults themselves may lapse in their English studies because they fear that others might not understand them or will look down on them due to mispronunciation. The job of the ESL teacher is to guide these families in not only proper English usage but also to help them gain confidence in using English and to resolve any worries they may have over using their new-found language abilities outside of the classroom. This is especially true when working with families whose only member proficient in English is a young child. The amount of pressure on these children to translate for their parents and to take care of their families needs is immense.

By offering parents the opportunity to learn along with their children I believe that we can help to relieve much of this stress. And by ensuring that public schools, universities, and even office settings, have access to teachers trained in ESL techniques we can offer a better chance of continued English improvement. I also believe that by learning together as a family these immigrant and bilingual families will be more willing to continue to use English on a daily basis so that they can grow more capable in their own abilities and be encouraged to continue learning. Due to my interest in foreign cultures and my belief in the need to teach English I want to pursue the Masters of Art in English with a concentration in English as a Second Language. I have confidence that the combination of my life experience, my initiative to help English language learners better their skills, and a Masters degree in English as a Second Language from the University of Memphis would make me a powerful force in the Tennessee educational system.