International student Yauma knew that studying the Master of TESOL with the Faculty of Education was right for her when she understood our focus on practical application through clinical practice. After completing her degree, Yauma hopes to return to Indonesia and share the knowledge she has acquired through the course.
Q: Can you please briefly outline your life prior to studying this program?
I graduated from a high school in Pontianak, West Kalimantan, Indonesia. I was then offered a seat to study TESOL as an undergraduate at the University of Tanjungpura, which is situated in the same city, via non-test admission pathway. I have always been passionate about learning English since a very young age and my undergraduate study had further directed my interest toward teaching the language.
Q: Why did you choose to study at the Faculty of Education?
When I researched universities offering a TESOL program, my ultimate consideration was: “Is it practical enough?” As a practitioner, I understand that I have to acquire various theoretical perspectives on TESOL. However, I expect to learn how these theories are going to be translated into practice. I finally decided to choose the Faculty of Education, as one of their focuses is on clinical practice, which guarantees the aspect of practicality.
Q: Why did you choose to study your program?
Two years after getting my bachelors degree, I was assigned as an English teacher in a rural area. After several years teaching in this public high school, I realised that my teaching skills and knowledge was not enough to meet the challenges that I faced. I needed to renew and strengthen my understanding about teaching English, especially for a Foreign Language Context. That was the reason I decided to pursue a Master of TESOL.
Q: Are you enjoying studying at the Faculty of Education?
I am. As one of top universities in the world, the University of Melbourne maintains an unquestionable quality of education, with a high standard maintained throughout the program. However, this standard is complemented with a maximum support for the students. The academic staff are communicative and open to suggestions, creating a supportive environment for learning.
On top of that, the students come from different background and nationalities, making collaborative work a valuable and enriching experience. Through this arrangement, I can envision further collaboration in the future.
Q: What’s the most valuable/rewarding aspect of your program?
I believe that the school placement where I get the opportunity to observe teaching practices in Victorian schools will be a valuable experience for my future practice. As Indonesian curriculum is similar to that of Australia (implements genre pedagogy), many aspects of the teaching process are relevant and applicable to my teaching context. This subject also provides an opportunity for self-reflection, which will shape my teaching practice in the future.
Q: Is there anything you wish you’d known before starting the course?
After a semester studying this course, I think that it is important to take certain electives at the same time even though they are not co-requisites. The right combination works like a puzzle and builds understanding on different aspects of TESOL.
Q: How do you hope your course will help your career progression?
After graduating from this course, I will bring home not only the knowledge of the course but different perspectives from collaborative work and observations. This will definitely affect how I'll analyse the challenges I may face in the future and the approach I am going to use to address the issues.
Q: What do you hope is the next step in your life/career?
I hope that this course will not only effect change in my personal practice but also other teachers in the rural areas where I am assigned. It is important for the improvement of English teaching to be done in all levels of schooling to truly make a change. To achieve this, I plan to share the knowledge I acquire in this course through capacity building workshops for these teachers.