May 30, 2014 by gemmalunn
The second interview in this series is with Sharon. Sharon is from Guangzhou in China where she is a Middle School English Teacher. She is studying on the MA in ELT course.
Q1. What made you decide to come and do a Masters in England
The first thing is that I’m single and I don’t have a family to support so I’m free! The second reason is that in China I wanted to write something about my studies and my students but I found that difficult to do because I had a lack of theoretical knowledge so I wanted to learn more. The final reason is English and British history and the culture – I love it!
Q2. Is the course what you expected?
Yes, absolutely! It’s much better than I expected especially the second and third term, the modules I’ve chosen such as Teaching Young Learners and Language Testing Principles are exactly what I wanted to study.
Q3. How useful was the Pre-sessional course in preparing you for the Masters?
It helped a lot because there was a big gap between my previous education and culture and between what is needed for the MA course now. It really helped me a lot, especially with academic writing.
Q4. What’s been the hardest thing about doing a Masters?
Academic reading. We have lots of materials to read and reading is very important, now I know that! Second is academic writing, the ways the British people write and what the teachers expect is very different to China. For example, the referencing is very strict here I had to pay a lot of attention to this point and to plagiarism. Another problem is that we don’t have sample essays, not to copy, just to help your writing and to get an idea of what I should write. In China we can google essay titles and find a lot of material like past papers to help us.
Q5. What advice would you give other international students who were thinking about doing a Masters in England?
I think the first one is that it’s good for students to take the Pre-sessional course as it helped a lot. Then the second one is they had better read as much as possible academic writing, journals etc to get used to this style of reading and writing.
Q6. How much will the course help you when you return home?
I’m going to be an English teacher maybe in an English centre and I’m going to teach young learners so modules such as Teaching Young Learners and Testing and actually everything will help with my career.
Q7. Will it change the way you teach?
Yes, it will. For example I will take the students need into account and many things that I’ve learnt here will really help.