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The course has opened my mind to new teaching ideas and has really helped me add some new dimensions into how I teach.
U.S. based student Mark chose the MA to become an expert in his field of adult education and also to allow him to study part-time to fit around his busy family and work life.
I was looking for and online MA course that offered both applied linguistics and TESOL, which ARU provided as well as the part-time study which suited my life and work schedule.
The MA has allowed me to focus on adult education and undertake several projects that focused specifically on the teaching environment that I work with every day.
I have been teaching ESOL for almost 15 years but never really knew too much about the theory. The course has opened my mind to new teaching ideas and really helped me to identify some areas of my teaching that could be improved on, adding extra dimensions to my teacher’s tool kit.
"If you have commitments outside of your studies this course is perfect. Distance learning has been great for me as a TESOL teacher working abroad."
If you have commitments outside of your studies this course is perfect. Distance learning has been great for me as a TESOL teacher working abroad.
I work full time, have an additional part-time job and a family. Juggling all these things was a real challenge at the beginning. Being able to take one module at a time and having the course requirements set out clearly at the beginning really helped me plan ahead and build study into my life.
Building confidence and making an impact
The MA has given me more confidence in my ability as an educator. I hadn’t really considered doing teacher training, but during the first year of study I was asked by my school to provide a training session on differentiated instruction for the other teachers. I drew on many elements from the ‘Classroom Theory and Practice’ module to prepare the training and I think the teachers appreciated the insight into the theoretical underpinnings.
My students are benefitting from my additional knowledge in TESOL and applied linguistics. I think it’s easy to get stuck in a rut when you have been teaching for a long time, and often you find yourself regurgitating the same lessons year after year. The MA has helped me see the job with new eyes and elements of the course have really helped me add some new dimensions into how I teach.
The distance learning teaching staff are incredibly approachable, which I think is important when studying an online course. I was able to email, Skype or call and get any questions answered promptly.
The Learning Management System is very user friendly and easy to navigate. There are plenty of resources available through the online library, so I really only bought a few books that were specific to the projects I was working on. For most of the courses all the materials you need are provided with the module online, which is great if you’re studying outside the UK and don’t have access to a physical library.
Tips for students
Don’t wait! I waited for almost a year before I decided to start the course because I was worried that I wouldn’t have enough time, or that it would be too stressful with all the other things going on in my life. Doing the course part-time is totally achievable and looking back I wish I’d started sooner.
Don’t leave anything to the last minute! I’m sure this is the oldest advice out there, but to be honest, it’s true. From the beginning of the course, add study time into your weekly schedule and you’ll be on top of things when it comes time to hand in your final paper.