New Year, New Student, New Opportunities: How To Make The Best Of 2017 As An English Language Student

DSC_0204New year, new you? The year you will never have to ask a friend to borrow a pen. The year you will always complete the extra-but-not-compulsory reading (as well as the compulsory reading, but you do that already, right?). The year you will complete your assessments a month before the deadline and make the most of all the opportunities provided by the university, even if that means cancelling your Netflix marathon and swapping your pajamas for attire that will be deemed acceptable outside the four walls of your bedroom. Even if you can’t stick to all of these goals this year, I recommend you that you take advantage of that which our school has to offer.
Since starting my English degree, I have completed study in Language modules, including Grammar and Vocabulary, Language and Gender, Literary Linguistics and Narrative Analysis. While Grammar and Vocabulary provided me with the essential skills to improve my writing and formed a foundation from which to analyse texts, Language and Gender made me better informed on issues of great importance (especially in today’s current circumstances) and developed my ability to analyse, argue and understand the views of myself and others in discussions surrounding gender. Literary Linguistics introduced me to the world of Corpus Linguistics, a branch of study I have found particularly interesting and have taken forward as a means of analysis within the Independent Study Module. I was also able to use this method of study in my recent Narrative Analysis project where I analysed the impact of Textual Patterning on the reader’s understanding of narratives. I have found all of my modules thoroughly enjoyable and have gained transferable skills that have been useful within the study of each of these topics and the general practice of ‘adult’ life.

Throughout my time at BCU, I’ve also realised how lucky we, as English Language students, really are. Unlike many other departments, faculties and universities, our tutors provide us with regular tutorials and office hours for the one-to-one discussion of projects, problems and progress. At first, I was reluctant to make use of these opportunities. However, after getting over the ‘safety in numbers’ element and realising that although the teaching staff are experts in the subjects they specialise, they are just as normal as the students they teach, I’ve discovered how useful and important these meetings are.
I now make sure to book as many tutorials as I feel necessary for my development and work hard to devise drafts within the given time-frame, in order to receive valuable feedback before final submission. I believe that in doing this, I have not only improved my grades, but it has made a significant impact on my organisation, motivation and self-awareness. Guidance and feedback are essential to effective personal development, and it would be silly not to learn from the breadth and depth of wisdom and advice provided by the expertise of our accomplished tutors and lecturers.
In 2016, I learned how to really get the best out of my BCU experience and in continuing this and further making use of these chances, I believe that 2017 will be a prosperous year of which I can be proud. In attending events, handing in drafts, asking questions and making the most of the vast range of opportunities and modules the School of English provides, I’ve been able to increase my confidence, develop and build upon valuable skills, qualities and knowledge, and become a valued member of a very supportive and tight-knit community.
– Katie

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