Reflections on M-level study

This blog originally started life as a way for me to share information with colleagues in my previous life as director of EAL at an international school in Bangkok, Thailand. I enjoyed posting little bits and pieces that I thought might be useful for teachers who were charged with teaching both their specialist subject matter and English language. It worked quite well, though I am sure it was viewed more by me than anyone else. At the very least it was a way for me to collate stuff that I thought was interesting and that might have value further down the line. Last year, I packed up and shipped out of Bangkok to return to the UK after 12 years out east, ostensibly to do an MA in Education on the TESOL pathway. It was, to an extent, intended to be an exercise in getting the bits of paper to match the on the job expertise that I had accrued after 10 years of working with English language learners. Though, as it turned out, it became a lot more than that. The blog took a back seat while I plunged myself into academia, but today I have left my dissertation with the printers to have it bound before submitting it for marking on Friday and so feel perhaps I should get back to inking pixels.

I don’t have team of teachers to address any more, so the form that this blog will take is as yet unclear. I have the notion that it will be a sandbox of sorts for me to muse on the things I have learnt during the MA, or a place where I can think aloud about educational research, in particular research into the education of language learners in mainstream schools in Britain – and perhaps international schools too. I have an idea that I would like to write some posts about the nuts and bolts of writing my dissertation and other essays that contributed to the MA, as well as write about some of the more interesting studies I stumbled across along the way.  In addition there are things about ontology and epistemology that I want to get off my chest or explore in more detail; some things that surprised or confused me. Tonight I am going to see Steven Pinker speak at the Sheldonian about his latest book A Sense of Style, which I have bought and read the first chapter of – so maybe a post on that.  I start auditing an M-level module on Systematic Reviews in Social Policy at the Institute of Education this week – so probably some stuff on that too.

Anyway, this first post after the hiatus has done what it was supposed to do, it has resulted in me writing a first post after the hiatus. So, a positive start then.  Let’s see what comes of it.


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