Ryan Morgan

I would recommend this course to anybody who is serious about having a long term career in education, especially ESL.

Ryan is an Academic Operations Manager at Education First based in China and chose to study the MA to fill the gaps in his theory and knowledge.

As an academic manager in the ELS (English as a Second Language) industry methodologies are constantly changing. Universities expect their practitioners to not only know what to teach, but also to understand why they are teaching it. This is where I felt this course would help me to develop further.

"The content has been interesting and applicable to my current job and future career aspirations."

Building professional connections

In China, there are still some areas where universities are catching up with educational practices elsewhere. Despite having access to articles and publications, what has really been useful is being able to talk to local professors and language teachers about my studies. This has helped to build a trusting relationship and an open sharing environment. Without studying, understanding and being able to cite theoretical approaches, these relationships may not have developed.

Future proofing your career

The ESL industry has seen a shift in the last 3-5 years and standards are improving. This has meant that employment requirements have also been adjusted to meet this demand. So, the continuation of my education will benefit me here, and elsewhere, in the long term.

Working for a private education company, I have many opportunities to attend and present at conferences. Obtaining a relevant theoretical knowledge of educational teaching practices through the course has enabled me to develop presentations for these conferences.

Additionally, my company operates an in-house Cert TESOL programme. I have qualified to be an internal observer/examiner for these courses.

Overall the content has been interesting and applicable to current job and future career aspirations.

Tips for students

Like any course, manage your time well, prepare in advance and be prepared to look for a backup option if something is not accessible. The online facilities are great, other than some links being blocked by China - access is often limiting, due to the firewall restrictions.

The work/study balance has been a challenge, although I do feel it was manageable. I gave up my Sundays during the trimesters, rather than studying as and when. This really helped me to focus on the one thing that was a priority – my studies.

Like I would tell my own students, work hard during term time, so you can enjoy the holidays. Since starting in early 2019, I have been back to the UK three times, Bali twice and travelled to four provinces in China.

Why ARU?

I would recommend this course to anybody who is serious about having a long term career in education, especially ESL. The theoretical approaches are clearly explained and supported by supplementary content and the weekly tasks are clearly laid out.

The assignments are described in detail and are achievable within the given timeframe. Some aspects of the course are also intellectually challenging and cross boundaries between academic disciplines.

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Supporting your journey

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.

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Discover your strengths

The course has helped me to acknowledge my strengths and become more confident in myself.

Meet Shipa