Being a TESL student in an engineering-based university did not put me in a disadvantage position compared to other students in other universities that are well-known with more established institutions to study this course. After I am graduated and now currently pursuing my master degree in UTM, I realized how UTM has made me as one of the graduates that able to compete with other graduates from other universities. There are thousands of perks to be told but I just need few to prove the wonderful experiences that I had when I was taking TESL in UTM.
- Emerging language learning and role of technology.
As the name of UTM represents, it is no doubt that I had a lot of exposure when it comes to technology. Every semester that I took, I have at least one subject that brought us a step further to become not only a regular English teacher but an English teacher that is able to utilize technology in the teaching and learning process. I guess, that is a bonus point for me as a TESL student in UTM. I was prepared by the lecturers to incorporate my teaching with the technologies since it is a ‘thing’ nowadays. My favourite subject of all is CALL 2. Computer Assisted Language Learning 2 (CALL 2) is a subject where I learnt how to integrate Web 2.0 in language class. I found it very beneficial for my teaching and could attract the attention of my students in class. Other than that, I also learnt how to use applications and softwares such as Java, Adobe Flash, Adobe Photoshop, Microsoft Excel and we even have developed tons of websites purposely for English teaching and learning. No doubt, the curriculum has been designed equivalent to one of the 21st century’s classroom characteristics which is utilizing computer and technology to assist teaching and learning to make the learning more engaging and effective. That is why it has been a great advantage for me to be one of TESL students in UTM.
- Foreign language for free.
To increase the employability rate, UTM Faculty of Education has prepared a syllabus that allows me to learn other languages such as Japanese and French. I chose to learn Japanese for my foreign language subject during my freshman year. We, TESL students did not have to pay extra money for the foreign class like other students from other faculties. The classes were conducted so well and I really enjoyed it. With the helped of my sensei, I was able to learn basic Japanese with ease. We also got the chance to meet Japanese students and interacting with them by using Japanese conversational phrases that we have learnt. After two semesters of attending Japanese class, some of my friends and I decided to join complementary class to sit for Japanese Language Proficiency Test (JLPT) for beginner. It was beyond my imaginations to sit for such test, but I guess our sensei has pushed us to the place that we have never imagine we would be. She always told us that ‘Nothing is impossible to willing heart’ and I still remember it!
- Great lecturers.
I believe, to achieve success, we need to have someone who inspires, teaches and guides us. I was so lucky to meet great lecturers. They have taught us passionately and I could not forget and always be thankful for it. They were not only teaching my friends and I in class but we are also having a good relationship outside the classroom. We met our lecturers if we were having any troubles regarding the subjects and also we were always working together with our lecturers in language programs inside and outside the campus.
- Environments and facilities.
UTM has provided the students with environment that is conducive for learning. The green landscape of UTM helped the students to release their stress after tired learning and doing assignments. Students get the chance to do recreational activities such as jogging, playing badminton, playing football, swimming, playing freebies, kayaking and many more for free. If not, students can opt for sight-seeing activities in the evening. The privileges of UTM students are beyond of our imaginations and could possibly utilized all of it even after four years of studying there. In addition, the facilities such as computers and internet connection are provided anywhere around the campus.
- Great social programs.
UTM Language Academy usually will ask the TESL students to involve in many language programs or school programs whether it is held inside or outside the campus. My classmates and I never missed the opportunities because such programs could help us in terms of polishing our soft skills and we got hands-on experience handling students or peers in learning English. Other than that, the faculty and UTM itself has organized plenty of learning programs that TESL students and other education students can involve. No doubt, through these programs we were not only gain knowledge and experience, we were also got the chance to meet new friends and build connections. We could also be involved in summer school program in universities outside the country and had the opportunities to join practical teaching in Indonesia. The memories made were so precious and we could never trade it with anything else.
- Extra income!
This is the best part of all. I must admit, during my degree years and up till now (I am currently doing my Master), I still would be able to gain extra pocket money in UTM. I have mentioned that my friends and I have joined many language programs organized by UTM Language Academy. We got some allowances that I must say; it is quite a big amount of cash. Furthermore, my classmates and I also were actively doing freelance proofreading services for other students from other faculties. It is one of the big advantages of being a TESL student in UTM since we could make some extra income for living.
I would recommend UTM for those who are willing to pursue their studies in this university. I have grown to be a confident and potential person throughout my four years studying in UTM. If you got the chance to be part of UTM, never missed the chance to do so!