Ragsana, from Azerbaijan, was awarded a scholarship in 1999. She completed a Masters in Education TESOL (Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages) at the University of Leeds.
Prior to attending the course, she was a teacher in the Translation Department at the Azerbaijan University of Languages, and a volunteer for the Azerbaijan English Teachers Association (AzETA). Although she was competent at her job, she felt her expertise could be improved. “I would apply more grammar translation method to my teaching due to lack of necessary skills,” she says.
While participating in the course, she was introduced to the methods of teaching English communicatively through daily classes, which provided her with the academic writing skills she needed. “I gained confidence in writing professional academic articles and making presentations at different international events and conferences,” she reflects.
As a result of her training, Ragsana’s career has gone from strength to strength. She was promoted at work to Senior Teacher of the Translation Department, and was subsequently appointed President of the AzETA.
“I was the only English teacher with an MEd from a UK university. As such, the Association led by a professional with such education background gained more recognition and trust throughout the country. Thus, my Masters was not only my personal gain, it played an invaluable role in my contribution to the development of ELT in my country,” she says, adding that it also helped her establish relations with ELT professionals from different parts of the world. These individuals were then invited to AzETA international conferences, which in turn helped with their development.
Success stories: Ragsana from Azerbaijan
“My education in the UK was a real eye-opener for me in many ways"