I studied an MA TESOL to gain expertise in language teaching after I had taught English for more than five years, with long-standing challenges of developing spoken communication skills in English among students mainly in Japanese secondary schools.

Noriko Takizawa
Noriko Takizawa was an international student from Japan who studied an MA TESOL

I was particularly interested in teaching English through drama, which I found I could study at Christ Church. It was also a significant reason to choose the university that it provides quality education with an emphasis on relating theory and practice as well as that the environment overall is quite safe and supportive.

My choice was right, and my experience there was far beyond my expectation. I had never felt that each day was so special before living and studying in the middle of the beautiful historic city of Canterbury with wonderful friends, university staff and local people, who kindly contributed to my making the best out of life there. I remember every joyful moment like it was yesterday.

I had never felt that each day was so special before living and studying in the middle of the beautiful historic city of Canterbury with wonderful friends, university staff and local people, who kindly contributed to my making the best out of life there.

Above all else, volunteering in collaboration with International Partnership and Development Team was the most invaluable experience, as it was a great opportunity for me to learn to be more understanding and supportive by mixing with a variety of people.

It was especially meaningful that I was able to work with professional English teachers as an assistant at a local language school. This motivated me to gain insight into teachers’ effective practices that can help young Japanese adult learners to enhance their spoken communication skills in English.

Thanks to the collaborative participants in my research, I was able to accomplish my aim to identify effective ways to implement communication activities, especially in monolingual classes of young Japanese adults.

These activities are primarily intended to encourage learners to practice using the language; therefore, they should be adapted depending on the different learners’ needs. I consider this student-centred approach as an essential concept for my facilitating classes where meaningful language learning takes place.

I have published two academic articles while teaching full-time since I returned to Japan and I hope to continue this reflective practice in order to thrive as a researcher and a teacher, who can be inspiring like those who I met in Canterbury.

Canterbury
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