Marta Ciesielska - language and learning

For her PhD, Marta is examining the role of first language and cognition on novel word learning in the second language in monolingual and bilingual children and adults.

PhD researcher
  • Name: Marta Ciesielska
  • Faculty: Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry & Health
  • Scholarship: Doctoral Academy Award

Tell us about your background and your chosen research project.

I hold a BA degree in TOEFL and an MA in School Education from the University of Gdansk (Poland).

Upon my arrival in the UK, I held a position of Head of English as an Additional Language (EAL) department in a secondary school where I had the opportunity to work with EAL children from various cultural and educational backgrounds and network with other EAL specialists in the area.

In 2015, I was awarded a scholarship which enabled me to complete an MSc in Developmental Psychology at Sheffield Hallam University.

Following my MSc degree, I worked as a Research Assistant on The Leverhulme Trust funded project investigating the challenges of bilingualism by means of interlingual homographs.

My PhD project examines the role of first language and cognition on novel word learning in the second language in monolingual and bilingual children and adults.

Why did you choose to study at Sheffield?

The University of Sheffield is a world top-100 university and a member of the Russel Group, with Human Communication Sciences Department being in top four for research impact in the UK (2014).

Also, Doctoral Developmental Programme offers a great range of activities that ensure continuous professional development of PhD students. Easy access to Information Commons, the Diamond, and many other facilities, makes the learning experience even more enjoyable.

Not only is TUoS a desirable place to conduct your own research, but it is also very international with both students and staff from all over the world. Thus, it offers an invaluable experience of meeting new people and exploring new cultures. What’s more, the fact that Sheffield is so close to Peak District makes it very hard to beat!

My experience so far has been absolutely amazing. If you enjoy learning, PhD is the best journey you can ever take. It means hard work and dedication but working on your own project is very rewarding

Marta Ciesielska

PhD student, Department of Human Communication Sciences

What did winning the scholarship mean to you?

Winning the scholarship enabled me to begin my PhD journey and pursue my research interests. Thanks to this opportunity I can further develop my skills and expertise in the field.

What has your experience of doing a PhD at Sheffield been so far?

My experience so far has been absolutely amazing. If you enjoy learning, PhD is the best journey you can ever take. It means hard work and dedication but working on your own project is very rewarding.

What are your future plans?

I am considering staying in academia, but time will tell. I have been recently developing some strong feelings towards computational linguistics and I might as well try my luck in the industry.

Do you have any advice for future prospective PhD students?

If you consider doing a PhD, go for it! Sheffield is a great place to be and the University of Sheffield is full of people who are there to support you and help you spread your wings. Work hard, be resilient, and pursue your dreams!

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