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Considering a Masters in Australia...
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Jeninarmenia



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue May 16, 2006 6:43 am    Post subject: Considering a Masters in Australia... Reply with quote

Hello to you all! I'm very glad to have found this resource, I've been rummaging through the posts and feel that perhaps you all can offer me some insight/advice...

I'm currently serving as a TEFL Peace Corps volunteer, with one more year to go. I enjoy this line of work and plan to return to school next year. Australia seems like a good starting ground, being that I'd like to finish a degree and work in Asia. I've been researching several schools recommended to me by an Aussie - namely Macquarie and U of Q. I'm leaning more towards the latter for expense reasons.

So my questions relate to the best course of action for me, coming from this experience (I'll have taught secondary English for 2 years).

I'd like to have a CELTA, but I'm a bit surprised there aren't any MA programs that include it. Or are there?

I'd also like some feedback into the reputation of U of Q, as well as it's bang-for-buck factor. Did anyone study there and feel it was worth the tuition? Is the school professional and does Brisbane offer part-time work opportunities, specifically in the TEFL field that don't require the degrees?

One last, but strange question...are there any Armenian communities in any of the major cities?

Thanks and staystoon,

Jen
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Jeninarmenia



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry about the bump...

I'm still actively interested in studying in Australia in a year. Now that I've chosen to do so, I would REALLY appreciate some feedback, specifically on the two schools previously mentioned.

Please please please, it's quite daunting not to know much about this important decision. Smile

jen
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jun 28, 2006 1:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I finished my masters in applied linguistics earlier this year from the University of Southern Queensland www.usq.edu.au. It was a good program, well worth it and I found it affordable. Check it out. They were really great about helping you out if you had any problems or concerns.
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sojourner



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 733
Location: nice, friendly, easy-going (ALL) Peoples' Republic of China

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Jeni,

The University of Queensland (UQ) has an excellent reputation. It is commonly regarded as the top uni in Queensland - and, would probably be one of the top 5 unis, nation-wide.

I have never studied Education/TEFL/Applied Linguistics at UQ - but, for several years, was a postgraduate student (History/Politics/Public Policy) there. UQ is located in a very pleasant, leafy, upmarket suburb of Brisbane called St Lucia.There is a frequent bus service from Adelaide Street (Brisbane City) to St Lucia/UQ - the journey takes about 20-25 minutes.

The campus is really beautiful - sandstone buildings, jacaranda trees !

Rents, as you would probably imagine, are pretty high in St Lucia. During my last year at UQ, I rented a small flat in (reasonably) nearby Indooroopilly.Other nearby suburbs where the rents might be a little below those of St Lucia, would be : Toowong, Auchenflower, Milton and Chapel Hill. Please note: a recent report in the "Age" newspaper indicated that rents in the whole of the Brisbane metropolitan area have been increasing quite sharply in recent months - apparently, too many people from the other states want to live in Brisbane !

Will you be on a normal student visa ? If so, I believe that you are permitted to work up to 20 hours pw. Do a check of the online Yellow Pages for language schools - you might be able to pick up some casual work.

You also mentioned Macquarie University.That uni has the reputation for having Aust's best programmes / research facilities in Applied Linguistics/TEFL. Some of the world's top people in those fields have taught there, eg David Nunan. I recently completed an online MA (Applied Linguistics) degree through the University of New England ( www.une.edu.au ) - under a cross-institutional agreement between UNE and Macquarie, I was permitted to do a Macquarie unit (course) in "Language for Specific Purposes" for cross-crediting to my UNE degree. I am most impressed with Macquarie.

Unfortunately, Macquarie Uni is located in the northern Sydney suburb of Nth Ryde. Nth Ryde isn't too bad (nowhere near as good as St Lucia, but still ok !) - but the trouble is that Sydney is the most expensive city in Australia ! Think v.carefully before enrolling to do any course in Sydney.

Apart from UQ and Macquarie, have you considered any other unis ? Adelaide is a v.pleasant city - not too expensive ! The Uni of Adelaide also has a v.good reputation - not sure, though, about the TEFL/Appl.Ling. Dept - do some research.

In fact, do some research for all the unis that you are interested in.They would probably all have good TEFL/Appl.Ling. programmes - but you should find out what they actually specialise in. Gordon mentioned USQ. I've heard that that particular uni has some innovative courses in CALL. But, if you're interested in CALL, there would be no need for you to enrol at USQ. Should you enquire at UQ about enrolling in their Master's programme, you could also enquire about cross-institutional arrangements - thus, you could be an internal Master's student at UQ, but also enrolled in distance education/online units being offered by USQ, Macquarie, etc . The Aussie tertiary education system is quite flexible - in some ways.

You also mentioned something about CELTA. I've heard that there is one Master's unit at Macquarie that allows for a partial credit for a completed CELTA. Send an email query to the Dept's admin office.

UQ runs its own CELTA course. However, I don't know whether you'd be able to get any credit for it, if also doing a Master's programme. Make a few enquiries !

Within the fields of Appl. Ling. and TEFL, where do your interests lie ? It's possible, that you might want to consider enrolling in a M.Ed programme, rather than a M.Appl.Ling. If interested in teaching adults, you might also be interested in doing units involving the adult learning/teaching processes, curriculum planning, etc.

Re Armenians in Australia. Australia is a multicultural country. Do an online Yellow Pages search for under "Armenian" and "ethnic organisations". Also, do a Google search for "Armenians Australia" . I'm pretty sure that you'll find some compatriats (sp?) "down under" !

Good luck !

Peter
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Johanna



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 19
Location: Adelaide, Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:10 pm    Post subject: Adelaide University MA Applied Linguistics Reply with quote

Hello,

I can't add all that much to Peter's comprehensive post other than to say that I am a couple of months off completion of the Adelaide Uni. MA App. Ling. and feel very confident with the learning/mentoring that I have encountered.

Adelaide is a very pleasant city, the University is well recognised and post graduate App. Ling. is growing.

Another benefit of Adelaide is that the number of International students is significant - not only at Adelaide Uni but at other unis in Adelaide so there are plenty of contract/casual jobs for ESL teachers especially in Academic English. Added to this there are lots of opportunities for classroom observation based research - some very exciting things happening!

Cheers,

Johanna
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sojourner



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 733
Location: nice, friendly, easy-going (ALL) Peoples' Republic of China

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Further to Johanna's comments re the Uni of Adelaide.

That institution would, indeed, be a great place to study at ! Great learning atmosphere ! It's just minutes away (by foot !) from the heart of the city.The uni is located on North Terrace, and the campus stretches all the way to the banks of the River Torrens. Along Nth terrace, almost next door to Adelaide Uni, you'll find the State Library, the Museum, the State Art Gallery, and the Botanic Gardens. Just across the other side of Nth Terrace is probably the largest English language school in the city : the South Australian College of English. Who knows, you might be able to find some casual teaching work there ! That college also runs its own CELTA course.

If for some reason that you can't do a CELTA course in Adelaide, one of the TAFE colleges runs a highly-aclaimed alternative course.

In some ways, studying at Adelaide Uni might be preferable to UQ. For example, rental accomodation would probably be cheaper than in Brisbane. Also, in summer time, Brisbane can become almost unbearably humid. By comparison, Adelaide has a mediterranean climate - hot ,dry summers; wet, cold winters. Great parks around Adelaide. Adelaide also has the bi-annual Festival of Arts and the " Festive Fringe" - will next be held in 2008. Unfortunately, the beaches are not the best - ok for swimming, but not for surfing. Brisbane, by comparison, is only a couple of hours away from the world-famous Gold Coast !

Peter
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Peter, you should be working for Tourism Australia!!! Now I want to go there.
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sojourner



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 733
Location: nice, friendly, easy-going (ALL) Peoples' Republic of China

PostPosted: Sun Jul 02, 2006 2:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Gordon,

Have you ever heard of Jung's theory of "synchronicity" ? Less than an hour ago, at my farewell dinner, someone said exactly the same thing about me ! Maybe, I'm in the wrong game ! But, on the other hand, it's possible to combine EFL with other areas of learning. In my new job (in Sichuan Province) my main teaching subject will be marketing - who knows, I might be able to focus on the marketing of tourism ! Many Chinese tourism promotion publications leave a lot to be desired !

Yes, I'm a bit biased in my comments re Adelaide - it's my home town ! Should you ever contemplate moving to Australia, Adelaide would be a good place to consider. But, unfortunately, it's still pretty much a sleepy hollow, compared to other cities. No wonder many people are heading for Brisbane !

Regards,

Peter
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Jeninarmenia



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Mon Jul 03, 2006 7:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, thank all of you so much for the wealth of information you have given...I hope to be able to have a decision within the next few months so that I can start on my apps. It turns out I'm going to need to work out a few kinks here with the PC so I can leave in June instead of August. It's a bit overwhelming...

sojourner wrote:
Hi Jeni,
Unfortunately, Macquarie Uni is located in the northern Sydney suburb of Nth Ryde. Nth Ryde isn't too bad (nowhere near as good as St Lucia, but still ok !) - but the trouble is that Sydney is the most expensive city in Australia ! Think v.carefully before enrolling to do any course in Sydney.


I understand that Macquarie is highly regarded for its Linguistics dept. but this is precisly why it doesn't appeal to me. I think I'm going to have to take it off the list...but I will look into the option of taking their courses from a different uni.

Quote:

Apart from UQ and Macquarie, have you considered any other unis ? Adelaide is a v.pleasant city - not too expensive !


I have looked into a few other schools, namely the technology ones in Brisbane and Sydney. But, again, they are a bit pricey. I'm going to check out Adelaide since you hold high opinions for it and I definately prefer cooler climates.

Quote:

Within the fields of Appl. Ling. and TEFL, where do your interests lie ? It's possible, that you might want to consider enrolling in a M.Ed programme, rather than a M.Appl.Ling. If interested in teaching adults, you might also be interested in doing units involving the adult learning/teaching processes, curriculum planning, etc.


I am interested in adult education, and for the next ten years or so would like to be able to just travel abroad and teach at the higher level. As for what to do afterwards, I may want to develop curriculum. I'm so fresh to the field that I don't even know the possibilities. I will have to figure it out as I go. So in this case, would a M.Ed be more useful?

I'm sure there will be more questions as I go. Thank you for giving me somewhere to step forward from, greatly appreciated!

jen
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Jeninarmenia



Joined: 08 May 2006
Posts: 6

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 2:38 pm    Post subject: something else... Reply with quote

A new question: How would my two years with the Peace Corps hold up to a CELTA? We had 3 months of training that included basic methodology and practicum (when I say 3 months I mean our overall training, we actually only had "tech" sessions twice a week). For the last year I've been teaching children ages 7-16 at the beginning level, as well as adults at intermed-mid to advanced. Do you think that the information included in a CELTA (or even DELTA?) course would be entirely new?
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Wed Jul 05, 2006 10:32 pm    Post subject: Re: something else... Reply with quote

Jeninarmenia wrote:
A new question: How would my two years with the Peace Corps hold up to a CELTA? We had 3 months of training that included basic methodology and practicum (when I say 3 months I mean our overall training, we actually only had "tech" sessions twice a week). For the last year I've been teaching children ages 7-16 at the beginning level, as well as adults at intermed-mid to advanced. Do you think that the information included in a CELTA (or even DELTA?) course would be entirely new?


I doubt your Peace Corps training is any match for a CELTA (but I don't know what you learned there). I had already taught for about 5 yrs before starting my CELTA and it was still almost entirely new. Trust me, you won't be bored.
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moot point



Joined: 22 Feb 2005
Posts: 441

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 1:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gordon, I know you've also got an MA after completing the CELTA. I didn't bother with the CELTA but got an MA in TESL. Do you think doing a CELTA course would be worthwhile for someone like myself...several years experience and an MA-holder?
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Gordon



Joined: 28 Jan 2003
Posts: 5309
Location: Japan

PostPosted: Thu Jul 06, 2006 11:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

moot point wrote:
Gordon, I know you've also got an MA after completing the CELTA. I didn't bother with the CELTA but got an MA in TESL. Do you think doing a CELTA course would be worthwhile for someone like myself...several years experience and an MA-holder?


Hard to say without seeing you teach. The important thing is whether you have good self-analysis of your teaching after a class. Do you see where your weaknesses are and where a class can be improved upon next time?Just from reading your posts and knowing a bit about you, I'd say the answer would be "no". You probably know a vast majority of it already.
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Johanna



Joined: 10 May 2005
Posts: 19
Location: Adelaide, Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 07, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Come on Gordon,

Come to Adelaide, you'd love it. The fact that it's still a sleepy hollow is a benefit not a disadvantage.

It's my home town too Smile
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Bisa Dong!



Joined: 15 Sep 2004
Posts: 23
Location: Melbourne

PostPosted: Thu Jul 13, 2006 6:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi there. How does Perth compare with Adelaide? I'm currently finishing my BA in Melbourne and would like to do a Diploma in Education at either Adelaide Uni or UWA with a view of settling in the city where I do the DipEd. I'll be qualified to teach English, ESL and LOTE so I think my job prospects won't be too bad.
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