MAKING THE MOST OF OPPORTUNITIES AT READING
Sabita is a final year BA English Language and Linguistics student.
She chose to study at Reading because of the diverse module options on the course and because on Open Day she discovered that she could take part in an Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP). The scheme provides exciting opportunities for undergraduate students to work on real research projects alongside academic researchers in the summer holidays. On the UROP project, Sabita researched second language acquisition:
"I looked at how international students were learning English independently in their spare time and which independent study strategies were useful to help them learn English, and how this research could help teachers help students learn. One of the main findings was that they wanted more opportunities to practise with native or fluent speakers of English."
OPTIONAL LANGUAGE MODULES
Sabita was also interested in studying languages alongside her degree and so enrolled on two Spanish language modules with IWLP at Reading (the Institution-Wide Language Programme):
"I have really improved my Spanish and especially doing Linguistics it's really nice to be studying the grammar of the English language and comparing it the grammar of another language. It was really important to me to be able to do these optional modules each year at Reading."
BA English Language and Linguistics has given Sabita the opportunity to consider a broad variety of careers. As well as the UROP academic internship, Sabita has made the most of the professional internship opportunities at Reading:
"Every single piece of internship that I have done I have got through the University. I met a Publisher from Holland House Books at the University in my first year and he offered me and two other students the chance to run an online literary journal. We now have a website called 'The Open Page'."
In this role, the students asked for submissions from publishers and writers from around the world. They then edited and published the submissions in quarterly issues, and wrote book reviews.
"It has been an amazing experience learning how to edit in a sensitive way without hurting the writer's feelings."
The student team also managed social media marketing for The Open Page, which is another skill that they learned at Reading.
Following the online literary journal placement, Sabita then expanded her skills through new internship opportunities:
"I joined the student newspaper 'The Spark' at the University. I spent 6 months being News Editor and then Sub Editor, which I am doing now. Through that I met the Editor of the local Wokingham Paper - it's all about connections! - and that created the opportunity for three of us to have weekly work experience."
LOOKING BACK AT THE COURSE
"My favourite module was English Phonology in my second year. It was so scientific and like nothing we had done before. We learnt the International Phonetic Alphabet off by heart and we listened to our lecturer reading a passage out loud and we had to be able to write down everything that she was saying with tones and stress symbols. When you are able to master this, it is so rewarding.
I really really like my course: there is so much writing. It has forced me to develop my written communication skills, and even being able to structure an argument in a thoughtful and fluid way through practising essays, has been so useful. I'm considering doing a Masters in Linguistics because I find everything on this course so interesting."