I taught English in Japan for six years before applying for the MSc Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) at Bristol. I taught a large number of people including children, students, office workers and professionals from introductory to advanced levels. The more I taught English, the more I wanted to improve my English teaching skills and learn how to design other effective ways of teaching English.
I originally chose teaching because I wanted to do something more with English after returning from a year in the USA. Before this, I did my BA in Spanish language.
I chose to study at Bristol because of its reputation for offering a very high standard of graduate education and for the calibre of its professors. The unit ‘Second Language Learning’ helped me to understand the current academic theories, while the ‘Analysing Language’, ‘Change and Evaluation’ and ‘Pedagogy and Curriculum’ courses allowed me to reflect on my English teaching. The ‘Globalisation and Identity’ unit led me to think further not only about the process of teaching English, but about the relationship between globalisation and the spread and impact of English usage.
I had many stimulating discussions about teaching English and related matters with my fellow students at university and in the pub. My tutors inspired me with their insight and I enjoyed talking with friends who came from a wide variety of countries and backgrounds.
After the MSc, I worked for a college specializing in foreign languages in Tokyo and gave business English courses at several companies. I also became an extension lecturer at some universities in Tokyo, giving English courses to university students and office workers. Studying at Bristol helped me to improve upon my previous teaching experience by providing me with knowledge of current academic theories. When I returned to Japan to teach English at college and in companies, I was able to offer clearer explanations for students with regard to their errors, anxieties and motivations.
I would like to continue teaching English to those who want to learn the language. I still miss Bristol – my classmates, friends and tutors made my year there and the experience has encouraged me to keep looking forward.