More about Darren
“After my undergraduate degree I went travelling and ended up teaching English in Japan. I found I really enjoyed it, and realised that if I wanted to make a career of it I ought to get qualified.
“It was hard to leave my wife in Japan for six months, but I am glad that I chose NTU over distance learning programmes, as the face-to-face contact with tutors and peers was a significant part of the learning experience. The tutors worked tirelessly to support us and there was always someone to look at a draft for us, and feedback was critical but constructive.
“I was also able to teach on the in-sessional and pre-sessional English courses, which helped pay my living expenses, and more importantly added a great deal to what I was working on in my own studies.
“The academic skills I developed have stood me in good stead; I’ve been fortunate enough to make presentations at conferences in Italy, Nepal and the UK as well as in Japan, and have my papers published in a number of journals.
“Coming from private language schools in Japan to a university in the UK was a big culture shock, and directly inspired my dissertation topic. I investigated how teachers managed their professional development in times of change. This in turn lead to an interest in interviewing teachers, and a blog and podcast that I have been running since shortly after graduating.
“I now work as an Associate Professor at Sugiyama Jogakuen University. I teach language classes, as well as content courses in Film and Linguistics. I also coordinate classes, which means I have to plan the curriculum, develop materials and support the adjunct professors. My degree definitely helped me to get my current role, as you can’t teach full-time at University without a Masters degree.”
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