Comments from a Japanese teacher
undertaking the 2013 Master of Education TESOL
I am now taking four classes: Theory of Second Language Learning (by Dr John Ehrich ), Teaching Speaking and Listening( by Dr Amanda Baker ), English Language: Examining Learners’ Problems ( by Dr Steve Pickford ) and Introduction to Research & Inquiry (by Dr Steven Howard ). Generally speaking, professors are very kind and often give me a chance to share my teaching experience in Japan.
Dr John Ehrich has a wide knowledge not only in the field of linguistics but he has experience in teaching English as a second language. He often gives us a chance to apply what we have learned in the class to the authentic teaching situation in the future. He is very kind and understands international students’ situations.
Dr Amanda Baker’s class is very practical. In Japanese English classes, we did not put much emphasis on teaching speaking and listening. Therefore, I have seen many Japanese students here in Australia seriously lacking in English oral and aural skills. Recently Japan’s government has started educational innovations which put more emphasis on teaching communicative English. I would like to apply what I have learned here to fit Japanese students’ purpose for learning English which are mainly for passing university entrance examinations.
Dr Steve Pickford’s way of teaching English grammar is quite different from what I have taught in Japan. He always comprehends the concept of grammar from the standpoint of communication. That gives us a new point of view.
Introduction to Research & Inquiry is a required subject and at first I could not understand why I had to take this class. However, I have begun to realise why. I have learned how to find research articles and how to be critically analyse them through the class.
Besides the TESOL programme, UOW’s Leaning Development Centre’s system is excellent. The staff are very kind and helpful. They help us adjust ourselves to a life in Australia as well as providing academic advice. UOW should be proud of the programme and it should enrich the program by giving more opportunities to international students to take it.
I hope what I have written here would help you somehow. Thank you very much for giving a chance to share my experience.
(A junior high school English teacher back in Japan)