[Taveena Atsu | Features Sub Editor]
Meet Christina Schelletter, the head of English Language and Communication (ELC). Schelletter tells us about her role as the head of a subject.
“It is my responsibility to ensure a balanced selection of modules in line with the requirements and high quality teaching by module tutors,” she said.
Schelletter enjoys her role and finds it gratifying, especially “when the team works together and students appreciate the opportunities that are offered.”
There are always exciting new schemes being introduced, Schelletter gives the work placement module as an example, which lets students “show how we can improve the student experience and support students in their journey from University to a suitable career”. As the head of subject, it feels like it is possible to make a difference, she says.
However, she hasn’t always wanted to be a lecturer: “My career aspirations were initially to become a teacher in special needs schools,” Schelletter said. But as her interest in ELC grew, Schelletter decided to train to become a secondary school teacher, so she could share what she loves.
After becoming immersed in linguistics at university, Schelletter became very interested in the subject of linguistics and decided to enrol for a Masters in the subject, which then led to her being offered a role on a funded research project.
“Being involved in research in turn inspired me to study for a Ph.D. and to then teach at University level,” Schelletter said. “The research I have been involved in is empirical, that is, you carry out studies in order to gain insights into specific questions that are theoretically motivated.”
This involves the rigorous analysis of data to try and prove or disprove a hypothesis. When trying to figure out the most important steps for successful research topics, the research question is very important, but also the methodology as this will enable you to answer the question, she says. The methodology differs depending on the topic, which is a crucial process, especially when it comes to dissertations.
Driven by personal experience, the processing and learning of two different languages is the topic Schelletter is most passionate about. She said: “This is partly inspired by the fact that I have become bilingual myself and but also as I have brought up two daughters bilingually and was able to observe their acquisition first hand.”
It’s no wonder she finds the subject so interesting! Schelletter’s final tips for doing research are to:
Discuss every step with your supervisor
Follow their guidance as they are more experience in undertaking research
Choose a topic that you feel passionate about and a question that you want to shed some light on
Undertaking a research project is a lengthy and consuming process, so it’s important that you enjoy it too!
If you want to find out more about carrying out a research project, visit here