Peng is a current student on the Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Peng describes his experience of the Masters programme and the internship he completed as part of this programme. Read more below.
Firstly, can you tell us a bit about yourself and why you decided to study the MA in TESOL?
My name is Peng and I’m from China. Before moving to Ireland I worked in Africa for three and a half years teaching Mandarin Chinese. Afterwards I went back to China and began working as an English teacher. I taught a wide range of English courses including preparation courses. However, during this time I realized that I needed to upgrade my teaching skills. I have always wanted to come to Europe and so the University of Limerick seemed to be the best option for me. I feel very lucky to be one of the International students here at UL.
How are you finding the course so far?
Generally speaking, I am finding the program very useful and it has provided me with everything I need to know in order to teach English to a high standard. The programmes’ teachers are all very dedicated and experienced. I really appreciate how approachable they are. Their commitment to their work and teaching has benefited me greatly.
The programmes’ teachers are all very dedicated and experienced. I really appreciate how approachable they are. Their commitment to their work and teaching has benefited me greatly.
Can you describe your internship experience to us and how you found it?
To be frank, it was challenging, but definitely very rewarding as I had never taught total beginners before. As part of the internship, I was teaching a class of 14 students at A2 level. They were basic learners but I was surprised by their level of English. Most of them have been in Ireland for four years or more so they could speak very good English. We worked on improving their grammar and their knowledge of writing and spelling.
What supports were available to you during your time completing the internship element of the program?
While working in the school I was assigned a mentor, Sinead. She guided and advised me throughout the entire internship. Before the internship began, she provided me with samples of the students written assignments and test papers so I could get a general idea of their levels in English, which was very helpful. She was always on hand to answer any questions I had.
How has the MA program enhanced your own teaching skills? And in what way has it helped you in your teaching of English to speakers of other languages?
In China and in Africa I adopted the formal grammar instruction method, but in Europe, and where I did my internship, they used the community table teaching method – two totally different methods. Luckily, by doing the MA TESOL I adopted this new method of teaching. The MA TESOL programme has definitely helped me build upon my own teaching experience and skills.
The MA TESOL programme has definitely helped me build upon my own teaching experience and skills.
As an international student and someone new to UL, would you recommend the MA to others?
Oh yes, 100%! In fact, my friend who is also from China is doing the MA TESOL this year. So yes, 100% I would definitely recommend this program to my friends.
If you would like to learn more about the MA TESOL at University of Limerick, Ireland and to apply please click here.