Helen Absalom

Helen Absalom

With a long history of ESL teaching and having reached middle management in my career, I felt there was something missing. I wanted a more academic approach to my understanding of why I was teaching the way I was and I needed a deeper awareness of the theory behind TESOL to enable me to lead an English department more confidently. I therefore decided to look for a masters programme in TESOL.

It not being feasable to leave my overseas teaching position at that time, I decided on a distance-learning masters. I spent a long time researching distance learning options at UK universities but was never wholly happy with what I found. There were two reasons for this: either the entire course was run by distance and I felt that I needed the personal connection with tutors to ensure my sustained commitment and success; or there was no flexibility in the modules chosen and I needed a less prescriptive approach to the areas I wanted to study.

When I discovered the Summer Intensive MEd TESOL at the University of Exeter, I was impressed to see that here was a course which matched my needs: face to face rather than screen tuition; almost full flexibility in the choice of modules; and attendance during the summer holidays so I did not need to take time off from teaching. Almost three years later, I can say that I have enjoyed everything about the programme and would recommend this course of study to any like-minded professionals.

I would recommend the course for the three main reasons I have outlined above but also as I believe the University of Exeter has shown itself to be a leader in education, being placed 9th best in the UK for 2009 in the field of education. In addition, the simple fact that the MEd TESOL caters to professionals who need to study during the summer and not during the academic year, confirms the University's unique place in the promotion of lifelong learning. I do not know of any other university which offers such an opportunity and manner of study for an MEd in TESOL in the UK. The combination of such a programme offering structure yet flexibility with a dedicated and highly qualified staff which always has time for even the smallest of queries, makes the MEd TESOL at Exeter highly recommendable.

I am due to complete my MEd TESOL in 2010 and thereafter intend to embark upon the EdD in TESOL: another unique opportunity offered by the University of Exeter.

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