Doctor of Philosophy candidate
Her own experience of learning English pronunciation inspired her to look for effective solutions for other language learners, says Anh Dinh who came to AUT as an international student from Vietnam to study a PhD in language teaching.
“My research, by means of interviews and observations, investigates language teachers’ understanding of their knowledge, beliefs and perception related to teaching English pronunciation. It also explores how their cognition is reflected in the language teaching practices.
“This topic was inspired by my education history, my job and my desire to improve the quality of teaching and learning English as a foreign or second language in Vietnam. Years ago, I myself was a learner of English, and had difficulties when it came to learning English pronunciation. Later on, when working as a teacher, I noticed my students suffering the same challenges.”
Anh’s research is supervised by Dr Graeme Couper and Associate Professor Pat Strauss from the School of Language and Culture.
“They’re not only big names in the field but they’re also supportive, kind and ‘academically lovely’.”
The right environment
For Anh, a PhD was the logical next step in her career as a language teacher.
“With the degree, I’m qualified for my position as a university lecturer of English and will also have the confidence to contribute to research and teaching English, especially in Vietnam.”
She would highly recommend postgraduate study in language and culture to other students.
“I’ve enjoyed the academic ecology at AUT with its learning resources, professional supervision, and workshops and seminars for postgraduate students. What I would say to future students or researchers is, ‘If you want memorable and meaningful experience, look no further – AUT is for you.’”
An excellent university environment
She also appreciated the non-academic support services AUT offers students, Anh says.
“Everything is available for me to enjoy and develop my personal and academic life. I have access to a modern working space, rich learning resources and professional staff, especially my supervisors.
“The biggest challenge I faced at AUT was dealing with studying and taking care of my little daughter. Fortunately, AUT has provided a lovely early childhood education centre with a special subsidised fee for AUT students and staff. I can devote myself to my thesis while my daughter is having her own fun at the AUT early childhood education centre. I’ve also been encouraged to do relevant part-time jobs like invigilator or teaching and research assistant.”
Auckland is a great city for international students, Anh says.
“Who doesn’t want to study in the third best city in the world for quality of life? Auckland has beautiful beaches for you to lie on, a variety of food for you to taste and dozens of cultural festivals for you to merge yourself into.”