Fri, Apr 06, 2007 - Page 2 News List

University of Ulster recruits Taiwanese for TESOL program

STAFF WRITER

The Coleraine campus of the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland is recruiting Taiwanese students for its innovative Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) master's degree program.

In Taipei to recruit local graduate students for Ulter's TESOL program, Professor Rosalind Pritchard, dean of Ulster's School of Education, said Taiwanese students make ideal candidates for the program because of their tendency to work hard and speak English at a level higher than that of most non-native speakers.

"We've had a good deal of success in bringing in Taiwanese students before. They hail from a modern nation, and are forward-thinking," Pritchard said.

Overseas applicants to the TESOL MA program aren't required to possess a degree in English, Pritchard said, adding that any university graduate with an interest and the requisite English ability can apply.

The program consists of small classes in which an "even mix" of native and non-native speakers learn together for nine months, she said.

At the end of those nine months, she added, students can elect to graduate with a Postgraduate Diploma (PGD), attesting to their completion of all necessary coursework, or can invest another three to 12 months writing a dissertation, the completion of which qualifies them for a full master's degree in TOSEL.

Beginning in the next academic year (from September this year until June next year), Taiwanese students in the program will be sent to a town in Hungary to apply their English-teaching skills in the classroom, instructing primary and secondary school students, Pritchard said.

The six-week "internship" will not only broaden overseas participants' understanding and experience of Europe, but will also give them a practical grasp of the English-teaching field, she says.

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