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Dee Rutgers

higher degreees cambridge student profile education

Research in Second Language Education (MPhil)

What were your reasons for deciding to do the course?
During a MA-equivalent course (4yrs) in English Language and Culture at the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, I had the opportunity to do a work placement at an Educational Research Institute. Although I really enjoyed my time there, I initially did not consider this as a possible career option. However, after studying at the University of Liverpool, where I did an exchange year as well as an MA in English literature, and after working in the UK for two years, I increasingly found my thought going back to my time at the research institute. My interests in languages, language learning, and bilingualism had only grown over the years, and the opportunity to make a difference within language education, which often has to fight for survival, really attracted me. The MPhil in Research in Second Language Education seemed to match my interest exactly, and I decided to take the plunge and go back to university with the aim of changing my career path for the better.

Why did you choose to study at Cambridge?
When I moved away from Liverpool to settle in Cambridge, following my partner who was starting a PhD there, I did not intend to go back to university. However, when I found the MPhil on the internet, I got increasingly excited about the prospect of studying at Cambridge University. The MPhil in Research in Second Language Education was exactly the course I was looking for. On top of that, I knew that doing an MPhil at the University of Cambridge would provide me with a solid basis for a future career, and result in a high-quality degree that is recognised worldwide.

What have you gained from the course?
The MPhil year has been tough, but fantastic!! Coming from a literature background, it was hard to make the shift to empirical researcher, but I really enjoyed it and feel I have learned an enormous amount within just one year. Not only has it broadened my horizons within the area of language learning and bilingualism, it also gave me the practical experience of developing and conducting my own research. This has made me very proud of myself and my achievements, and the fun I had doing it confirmed that I had definitely made the right decision.

What do you hope to go on and do when you finish the course?
I was able to secure 4 years of ESRC funding, and will be starting a PhD in October 2008. I am extremely excited that I have been given this opportunity to continue in Cambridge, to continue develop myself as an educational researcher, and to pursue my career within language education