Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Education

Xiaowen Liu

MA TESOL Studies | 2016 - 2017

Photo of Xiaowen Liu

Please tell us a bit about yourself and your background.

During my undergraduate study, I worked part-time in teaching at the Beijing New Oriental School, a reputable private English school in China, teaching English reading for over two years in online/offline courses. Although I majored in Financial Management, I found myself enjoy teaching English and devoted most of the time on it during my undergraduate study.

What motivated you to apply to study your chosen course and why did you choose Leeds?

I chose TESOL because I am enthusiastic about English teaching. The idea of becoming an English teacher started germinating when I met a passionate English teacher in high school, who not only made me like English but also showed me the power of a good teacher. Also, I feel that teaching is a meaningful job, especially when students came to me and told me that they enjoy learning English with me. Therefore, I decided to give up continuing learning finance and turn to education study to become a more qualified teacher.

I feel so lucky that I finally become a member of the School of Education at the University of Leeds. I enjoy everything here – the high-quality teaching, professional teachers, available resources and facilities of learning and beautiful campus.

What do you think of your course, have there been any particular highlights for you?

The course of MA TESOL Studies is well-designed for novice teachers who have under-two year teaching experience or no experience. What has impressed me most is that the course combined theory with practice. For example, in the module “English Teaching Methodology”, in addition to introducing some teaching practices in the classroom, tutors also scaffold “micro-teaching”, which provides students opportunities to design and deliver a real course with their partners and get feedback from tutors.

How would you describe the help and guidance provided by the staff within the School?

Tutors in the School of Education are excellent, and they provide sufficient support and guidance. Academic writing concerned me most before I came here, like many international students, but the School of Education prepared students well. In the first few weeks of the first term, we were provided with a chance to write a “practice assignment” to get familiar with academic writing in this country, which would not be taken into account of our final grade but would be marked and commented by academic staff from the School of Education. Also, in every module, tutors would read drafts of our assignment and provide feedback three weeks before the deadline, so we got time to adjust and improve.

Any other comments you would like to make?

I would strongly recommend the University of Leeds to students who are still hesitating.

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