Taking an MA TEFL part-time distance learning
by Isabella Seeger
I have almost finished an online MA TEFL at the University of Birmingham and I think it was an excellent decision and a rewarding experience, notwithstanding the amount of work and expenses incurred.
Teaching full-time as an unqualified language teacher at a secondary school in Germany, I wished to acquire a university degree to become fully qualified. Being a single parent, there was no possibility to follow a university course in Germany without completely upsetting our lives, so a distance learning programme seemed a good alternative.
Obviously, planning time and money beforehand was crucial, and despite the financial burden I reduced teaching hours by 50% to be able to concentrate on my studies get through the course in the shortest time possible. You have to add the substantial course fees and the cost of books, and I think it only worked out because I was used to working independently and because I can be very self-disciplined if necessary.
The rewards for these hardships came in the shape of excellent tuition, personal interest in the topics and higher marks than expected, which again motivated me to go on when things became particularly difficult. At the start 30 months looked like an eternity, but after the first three modules everything went incredibly fast and I can hardly believe it is already over. I developed lasting friendships with fellow students, and a summer course at the university was an unforgettable experience.
Most of all, however, the MA opened my eyes to the fascination of doing research, which has changed my entire ambition of teaching at secondary level. Due to the MA, teaching at a university myself has now become an attainable goal, which would moreover enable me to continue my studies and perhaps take a PhD, too.