Daniel Rocha, MSc Language Education 2022
'The workshop discussions were great, very helpful and quite engaging. The discussions were one of my favourite parts since through so many culturally different perspectives there was so much to learn and share.'
Before Daniel started his studies at the University of Edinburgh, he was working part-time teaching English/Portuguese online and working as a teaching materials design consultant for a private language institute in the Amazon region of Brazil. Besides that, he was studying Linguistics at the University of Lisbon, in Portugal.
Why did you choose to study at the University of Edinburgh?
I chose to study at the University of Edinburgh because it is such a prestigious university with leading research in many areas, including education, which I am passionate about. In addition, Edinburgh is an amazing city to live in. It offers everything a capital city is supposed to provide, but with magnificent natural surroundings, remarkable medieval history, security and culturally diversity.
Why did you choose to study this degree?
Language Education was my choice because when I looked over the curriculum, I saw it would offer courses, such as “Language, Society and Education” and “Language and the learner”, which would add a lot to my theoretical background. They cover quite relevant subjects and perspectives towards the field of language education beyond the teaching practices themselves involving government, language privilege and policies which regulate and shape learning contexts across the globe.
What did you enjoy most about the programme?
By far, my favourite part was the friends I made throughout the term. They became my family away from home, and together, we helped each other to face the challenges of such a demanding academic life that this one-year master's programme requires. In terms of content, the workshop discussions were great, very helpful and quite engaging. The discussions were one of my favourite parts since through so many culturally different perspectives there was so much to learn and share.
What specific skills did you develop?
I guess to be academically independent and to better manage my time and schedules in order to provide not only work done, but good quality in academic writing. Academic independent in the sense that I had to choose subjects discussed throughout the course to write about in my assignments and learn how to present my arguments clearly. To do that, we need to have good time-management skills because it is important to allow ourselves enough time to review our own writing and improving it to achieve the quality of a masters. That’s why academic writing is one of the most important skills. This programme helped me a lot to improve it, making it more objective and more critical. In general, the programme helped me to develop skills to become a successful researcher. Choosing a topic to discuss in my assignments, providing critically towards the existing literature, and presenting justifiable rational for my theoretical choices.
What was the most useful thing you learned in your lectures, workshops and tutorials?
The most useful thing a learned from my lectures was to be curious and open about new ideas. There are many perspectives about one topic and research is still being developed and discovering new things, rules change as knowledge is being expanded. The workshops helped me to learn about respect and tolerance with those who might have a different point of view from mine. Tutorials provided me information on how to navigate through the university system, how to submit my assignments and how to make the most out of my experiences at the university of Edinburgh.
Why would you recommend the programme to others?
I recommend the programme to those who want to increase their world views and that wish to learn more about language education, deepening their theoretical understandings on teaching practices but also on many other important discussions that surround the classroom environment itself. The programme is intense, there is almost no time to do other things, but it is definitely worth it.
In what way do you think the degree will contribute to your career?
It will contribute to my career in the sense that it broadened my perspectives to many more professional opportunities beyond the teaching job positions. The programme does focus on teaching and learning, but it also provides quite essential knowledge to be a researcher and to be aware of many issues connected to language education which are important for leading positions in educational institutions, educational government bodies, or as a language consultant for teachers or for schools, in general depending on your specialization.
What advice would you give to someone considering studying this programme at Edinburgh?
The advice I would give is to come to Edinburgh. The city and the University of Edinburgh provide the best combination a student asks: cultural diversity, security, student support, and the amazing travel opportunities around Scotland.