Toshiaki Masumoto from Japan will start an MA in International Education and Globalisation at the University of Bath in September 2020. He completed the first part of the Skills Centre’s 20-week Pre-sessional English (PSE) course from 20 April to 26 June 2020 - the first time this course has run online due to the Coronavirus pandemic. Here Toshiaki explains how the online course surpassed his expectations.
Why I chose the University of Bath
Firstly, I was not confident in my English ability to study as a postgraduate student. I wanted to acquire the language skills to study in English. Secondly, I wanted to quickly get used to the learning environment at Bath University. This is my first time going to a European country, so I had a strong desire to get used to the environment.
What I liked most about the PSE course
The teaching methods were good. This time it was an online course due to the outbreak of COVID-19, but it was a higher level than I expected. I especially liked the group discussions with classmates from various countries. We could have discussions outside the class, and the opportunity to use English has increased considerably.
The key skills I developed on the PSE course
Of course, my English skills have improved. Not only that, but I have also learned a lot, such as how to study at university, writing essays, giving presentations and conducting research. I also feel that by talking with many friends, my communication skills have improved rapidly. Since I have a lot of homework and assignments, I was also able to improve my self-management skills.
My main challenges on the PSE course
The biggest challenge was to keep my motivation to learn. This was important because we had to study for more than eight hours every day. Also, since discussions are the main focus of the class, I felt that it was necessary to be active in the class. It was difficult to me to put myself in an English environment, so it was necessary to actively talk with my friends and increase my English conversation time.
At first, I could not use Teams and Moodle, which was difficult for me. However, thanks to a lot of support, I enjoyed the course.
My tips to others doing the PSE course
I strongly recommend the Pre-sessional course. This time, I was reluctant to participate because the course was online, but the result was completely the opposite. Not only was the learning programme enriched, but also the online learning environment was wonderful. Also, I was able to get a lot of information through various conversations with my classmates, and I no longer had to worry about studying at the University of Bath.
My tips are to do the tasks properly and to participate actively in the lessons. However, I think the most important thing is to enjoy the lessons and talk with many friends. If you feel the class is fun, you will be motivated to learn, and if you are encouraged by your friends, you will be able to manage to do difficult tasks.
My future plans
Since I have been a teacher in Japan for a long time, I have the option of conducting educational activities that incorporate ‘international education and globalisation’ in Japan. However, I would like to study ‘international education and globalisation’ and be more active on a global scale. I think ‘international education and globalisation’ will be needed more and more in the world and I want to be involved in the development of world education.