Sara Ashley Smith (DPhil/MSc ALSLA)

Tell us something about what you were doing before you came to Oxford

I was working as an English as a Foreign Language teacher in China

What do you like most about studying in the Department of Education?

I think the environment overall is very sociable and friendly, very low pressure and welcoming.

What attracted you to the programme of study here?

Initially I was interested in being able to do an MSc in one year and returning to teaching. I fell in love with the field of Applied Linguistics and with academic research, so I stayed on for the DPhil.

What qualities do you think an Education student at Oxford needs to have in order to be successful?

The ability to revise is essential! There is always new research coming out so it’s essential to continually re-evaluate your own. I think it’s helpful to situate yourself within the discipline and consider how your work might best contribute to the field overall.

We hope that you would recommend the Department of Education as a place to come and study. What reasons would you give for this?

I absolutely loved my Master’s course, I felt like the classes were extremely well-planned and the professors were engaged and interested in our development as critical thinkers. Additionally, I felt like the assignments were extremely challenging, in the best possible way, and encouraged the students forward from the course material.

What are your career ambitions after you complete the course?

It is my hope that I will remain in academia, or in educational research.

If I knew before I started the course what I know now, I would….

I wish I had been smarter about how I used the library resources. Even though we receive a fantastic tutorial at the beginning it can be hard to figure out which strategies are best for you.

Page last modified: March 8, 2014