Yu-Hsuan graduated from The University of Sheffield in 2012 with a MA in Teaching Chinese as a Foreign Language
Before coming to Sheffield, I was a student at National Chung Chang. I went on exchange student programmes to Comenius University in Slovakia and Nanjing University in China and participated in an overseas volunteer programme to teach English in a Thailand elementary school.
I chose the University of Sheffield because I think it is the best university which cultivates students’ originality and sensitive insight. It enjoys a high reputation, multi-cultural compatibility and abundant academic resources. What I am most excited about is that I finally met one of my favourite phonology linguists in person (Andrew Linn). Being able to see my role model is definitely one of the benefits of study in a world- class university.
In my department, we have theoretical establishment and teaching practice, which provides prospective teachers with a solid background. Teaching opportunities in local British schools and the Confucius Institute is attractive. I am assigned to St Patricks’ Elementary school as a Chinese lecturer since October in 2011 where I design a variety of Chinese culture and language classes. The students are locals and from other nations such as Africa, France, and Italy. The Classroom Observation module in my course provides an opportunity to record and examine Chinese teaching classes. I discuss my learning reflections with a British language partner majoring in Chinese studies.
There are two main differences in the styles of teaching at Sheffield, compared with in Taiwan, that I have discovered since the time I came here to study. The first trait is critical thinking. Instead of telling the answers, the professor will suggest references to have us a basic foundation and they leave time for us to generate thinking streams. Not until I came here did I realize the happiness and sense of achievement to explore the answers by myself. Secondly, language support assistance is always at hand and most importantly it’s free! We have departmental language support classes and specific lectures offered by Language Teaching Centre. In our classes, we have students from non-English native countries such as Brazil, Greek, and Bulgaria, and we work in groups to learn English well. It is amazing that we come from different nations and gather in the same classroom to learn English. That is a feeling I will never forget in my life!
University of Sheffield not only is a research-oriented university, but also cultivates human awareness. Our university will balance students’ opinions with the professors’ to achieve for better teaching-learning environment. In some departments, the teachers will cooperate with the students to contribute to national projects or in submitting to international journals. We have a great Students Union which not only provides instant help with your enquiries, but also has volunteering activities and careers services.
Pursuing further study in a foreign country is never easy but it will be one of the most valuable influences in lives. Sheffield is a lovely town with friendly locals and a nice environment. In addition, the living cost is not as high as in famous sightseeing cities. We have helpful administrations and student ambassadors in the University of Sheffield who will guide and accompany you through your time and ensure you use this golden study year effectively.