Tell us a bit about your background…
I come from Shanghai, China and I studied Translation & Interpreting (Business and Law) for my Bachelor's degree. I am fond of arts and music and I have practiced Chinese calligraphy and bamboo flute for over ten years. Also, I like drawing and playing piano and guitar for fun. I have a certificate that means I am a Chinese Roller Sports Graded Coach - I also enjoy practicing and teaching children roller-skating in my spare time. The experience of teaching helps me further understand the meaning of learning and look deeper into the method of teaching. I am interested in learning different languages, which gives me a lot of pleasure along with a new view to understand the world.
What inspired you to study your chosen subject at university?
During my undergraduate degree, I had various part-time jobs as an English teacher, and I found myself having a growing interest in education. From there, I studied an education course independently and gained a National Teacher Certificate in China. After finishing my internship in a public secondary school, I decided to take a postgraduate course in English education in order to learn new teaching methods and theories from other countries systematically aside from those traditional ones I learned in Chinese schools.
Why did you choose to continue studying (for your MSc) at the University of Strathclyde?
My deputy dean of ECUPL (East China University of Political Science and Law) recommended the University of Strathclyde to me.
Do you have a highlight from your time at university?
There are so many highlights of my learning experience at Strathclyde. One highlight should be the personal discussion about assignments and, also, life with different teachers. In my case, the most difficult thing at postgraduate level was that I had to inspire myself to push on and learn independently. However, luckily, I found my supervisor and other lecturers to be the most supportive people. I was so grateful that the wisdom and selfless help from them supported and inspired me whenever I felt confused.
Another highlight was that I have made friends with quite a lot of impressive people from a variety of countries and have had a great time with them.
What specialist knowledge/professional skills have you developed whilst studying the course?
I have practiced and improved my academic reading and writing. Also, I am now more familiar with more specific teaching terms and methods.
What would be your advice for people considering taking this course?
Firstly, I would suggest spending time previewing the materials before the class. In being fully prepared this could inspire learners when they are listening to the lectures or doing seminars. Secondly, I would advise them to discuss with teachers as much as they can for their assignments and ideas. Thirdly, as this course focuses more on theory, it would be a good idea to take on some part-time work in teaching in order to practice the methods learned in class.
What were some of the challenges you found studying at postgraduate level?
The most difficult thing at postgraduate level is that you have to inspire yourself to push on, and learn independently.
What did you think of the support available?
The University of the Strathclyde course offered me both advanced teaching theories and various forms of practice. The course, TESOL & Intercultural Communication, was quite well-designed and challenging, which made my learning experience both interesting and stimulating.
What are your ambitions for the future?
After coming back to China, I aim at becoming a qualified and inspiring English teacher in a public school and now I am working on it. I plan to continue learning more teaching methods and practicing them in order to teach Chinese students in a more effective and relaxing way. Also, I will keep leaning English and other languages, inspired by bilingualism theory.