Karolina Ciecwierz

Karolina CiecwierzMA Applied Linguistics and TESOL

Campus-based, Part-time

Tell us a little bit about your background

I came to the University of Leicester to study MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL having completed a degree in Early Years Language Teaching in Poland. I taught for two years in my home country where I gained experience of teaching English as a foreign language before coming to the UK for my Master's.

What attracted you to the Programme of Study here?

The course was a perfect match for me. As English is not my first language; I was looking for a programme designed for speakers of other languages. I also wanted to know that I would be qualified to teach at a higher level, may be even lecture. The part-time programme combines each of these elements and has also allowed me to continue working alongside my studies which was a great attraction.  

Can you describe your experience of studying with the School of Education here at Leicester? 

Enjoyable and challenging! The course is very interesting and the content is understandable for overseas students. Everything is explained clearly and the seminars gave us the opportunity to discuss topics face to face with tutors which made things a lot easier. Speaking to other students about their teaching experiences has really helped me to learn. Students come to study MA Applied Linguistics and TESOL from all across the world and sharing our different teaching experiences together enhances our knowledge, not just about language teaching, but also about different cultures and behaviours. Sharing this wealth of experience is really valuable. 

What do you enjoy most about your course?

Everything has been very enjoyable and helpful. I particularly enjoyed my lectures as the tutor's delivery of applied linguistics topics was very engaging. The course tutors have vast experience of teaching abroad and are able to draw on this experience to inform their teaching. Group work sessions have also been very enjoyable! I remember a particular session in the library when we were preparing for the phonology exam, it was so funny! I feel that I am part of a real community of students and we have fun learning from each other. The atmosphere is very friendly and interactive.

How has your course influenced your thinking about teaching?

The course has made me more open-minded and tolerant. It has helped me to understand certain issues which might prevent foreign language students from learning. The course has also showed me that they is no 'correct' way of teaching, there are many different approaches and methods that can be used for effective teaching. It has broadened my mind to thinking about lots of different options.

What are your plans for the future once you have completed your degree?

Once I have finished my Master's degree, I plan to gain teaching experience in the UK, and may be other countries abroad. I'm happy to teach a range of students from primary school age upwards, but my long-term goal is to teach adults and lecture at university one day.

And finally... 

One piece of advice you would give to a new student starting here?

Read all the references books for the course before you start! This will make things easier when the programme begins and you become very busy! I have learnt to read quickly and have improved my writing, listening and self discipline enormously.  

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