Distance no barrier to TESOL degree

Ahmed El-Sandouby knows a lot about teaching English as a second language, having been an ESL/EFL teacher with the British Council in Egypt for almost 14 years.

So when he decided to pursue a masters degree in TESOL, he spent a significant amount of time researching linguistics programs around the world.

“I was unsure about which university to choose,” Ahmed recalls. “But two of my colleagues at the British Council had already enrolled in Macquarie’s program and both commended it to me.”

“Researching Macquarie online I discovered its outstanding international reputation for linguistics and academic research, “ he says.  “I also discovered I could complete the masters program by distance and that it was highly flexible and professional compared to other distance programs around the world.”

Ahmed successfully completed his Master of Applied Linguistics specialising in TESOL by distance earlier this year and was recognised at last month’s graduation ceremonies with a Vice Chancellor’s Commendation for Academic Excellence.

“Receiving any distinction or high distinction from Macquarie is, in itself, no mean achievement,” Ahmed notes. “So receiving Vice Chancellor’s Commendation is a very admirable accomplishment. The minute I read the letter I was overwhelmed with an indescribable feeling of pride.

Ahmed credits Macquarie for encouraging him to succeed; with a learning environment he says is superior to universities in Egypt.

“In my country, the teaching is mainly face-to-face and does not foster much learner independence, action research or self-regulation,” he says. “The support, in terms of resources and guidance from tutors, can be appallingly poor.”

“Classes at Macquarie are the exact opposite, with well-qualified tutors, rich resources and highly professional administration and management – it’s an environment that is highly conducive to learning.”

Ahmed says he has already recommended Macquarie to several of his colleagues at the British Council and would have no hesitation in recommending the University to students looking to complete a degree overseas.

“I feel that Macquarie is where people, no matter what their race, colour, social status or religion, are given a truly equal opportunity to study and excel,” he says.

With his masters degree completed, Ahmed’s ultimate career goal is to become a university professor, teacher trainer and ESL materials writer.

“Now that I have graduated, I am seriously considering pursuing a PhD in Australia,” he says. While there, I can perhaps work on the Australian Adult Migrant English Program as a teacher, teacher trainer and IELTS Examiner Trainer.”

Macquarie is currently ranked in the world’s top 50 universities for linguistics by QS. The Master of Applied Linguistics is designed for experienced language professionals and offers specialisations in General Applied Linguistics or TESOL.