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Satomi at the University's food market

“I would recommend the teachers and professors, who are all experts in language learning and teaching. I also recommend the in-sessional course that helped me to write essays and dissertations. Moreover, the library and the environment at University of Reading are just extraordinary which will support prospective students’ studies.”

Satomi Suzuki is studying MA TESOL at Reading. She chose to study her postgraduate degree at Reading because:

“I heard (and read) that the TESOL course is one of the best in the UK.”

Nominated for the British Council’s Master’s Dissertation Award programme

Satomi has recently been nominated by the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics for the British Council’s Master’s Dissertation Award programme. Her thesis has also been published on the Teaching English website.

Satomi was delighted:

“I still cannot believe that my dissertation got nominated and received the award.”

The title of her dissertation is: What influences Japanese junior high school teachers’ classroom practice? An investigation into the influence of the secondary school entrance exam and teachers’ beliefs on that practice.

Satomi explains why she chose this:

“I was going to choose my topic related to TBLT (Task-Based Language Teaching), but I thought it was too difficult for me. Then I came across “teachers’ beliefs” which interested me to explore that teachers’ ways of thinking about what they say they do and actually do. I was also interested in an impact of a test. So I combined these two concepts in my teaching context, which is Senior High School entrance exam in Japan.”

Satomi describes her favourite modules from the MA programme:

"With Second Language Learning Principles, I could learn the theory of how language is learnt and hypotheses around its acquisition, and by doing the simulation as part of Language Curriculum Design, I could learn how a curriculum and syllabus should be set for a language learning institution."

Supportive staff

She was particularly grateful for staff support during her studies:

“Professor Furneaux gave me a great deal of support. She also held online meetings called “coffee meeting” with the LCD (Language Curriculum Design) members every Thursday. This helped us stay connected during the pandemic.”

After her MA, Satomi will continue to work as a teacher in her school. She feels that her degree has made a difference to her lesson planning and observation of the students’ process of learning English as a foreign language.

Looking back at her Reading experience, Satomi has been inspired by "meeting wonderful classmates and extraordinary professors and doctors (teachers) who widened my mind" and has enjoyed "dynamic and beautiful nature on campus and British beer".


More stories

Read stories from the staff in the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics

Dr Fraibet Aveledo


Dr Fraibet Aveledo talks about whether bilingualism can enhance cognitive processes, and her experiences of working within the Department.

Professor Jane Setter

Find out from Professor Jane Setter what it's like to be a lecturer in the Department, including information on her areas of expertise.

Professor Rodney Jones

Professor Rodney Jones talks about his expertise in how we communicate online, and what he thinks about working in the Department of English Language and Applied Linguistics.