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Case Study

Thanh Loan Nguyen

Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam


Thanh Loan Nguyen was working as an English teacher and wanted to progress in her teaching career. She chose to study for the MA TESOL degree at Sunderland after hearing good things from an agent and alumni. She is still teaching and aims to get a job at a university as a linguistics lecturer one day.

I was working as an English teacher and knew I would need to study for a master's degree to upgrade my teaching career. An agent suggested I take the course at the University of Sunderland. I had done some research and even got in touch with some alumni who also recommended the course to me.

I had originally undertaken a graduate diploma in TESOL at another university – I wanted to learn more about the methodology of language teaching, but the course was heavily theoretical. My educational background was neither linguistic nor educational, so I struggled. However, the learning experience at the University of Sunderland was quite different. The combination of theoretical and practical teaching in the curriculum showed me the importance of theories in real-life teaching practice. That’s why, when I’m looking for solutions to teaching problems, I do the research and learn how I could adapt them.

The tuition fee is reasonable and the cost of living in Sunderland is much lower than other places. As well as this, the University facilities and the design of the course have helped prepare me well for the language teaching profession. There was a wide range of services I benefitted from at the University. The library service was really useful as you could make an appointment and get help with a range of topics, from study skills revision to advice relating to your future career. There was also the recreational centre where I joined hiking trips occasionally, which were free of charge to students. The free campus bus was beyond my expectations, as I not only used it for university, but also for trips to the supermarket and other places.

I would advise other students to not be afraid to ask for help, especially from the library staff and professors, as they are super helpful and friendly.

I am still in the early stages of my teaching career, but my aim is to get a job at a university as a linguistics lecturer. My time at Sunderland was enjoyable and less stressful than I had expected.”

Published 4 May 2020

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