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Jani Nisansala Muhandiram (MA English Language Teaching 2009)


Having been born to a former British Colony, English has always played a dominant role in my life. It has become my passion ever since I remember. On completion of the BA (Hons) English Language Studies with English Literature from the University of Brighton, I wanted to share my knowledge of this fascinating language with others. Hence I began my career as a Teacher of English Language and Literature at Colombo International School in Sri Lanka. The exposure to real classrooms and day to day experiences led me to study a MA in English Language Teaching at the University of Reading followed by a CELTA course at English Language Center in Reading. After graduation I worked as a EFL lecturer at further education colleges in London and an EFL tutor at Malvern House International in London. Presently I work as an ELT Lecturer at University of Sri Jayawardenapura, which is among the top ten universities in the island.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Reading?

The University of Reading was recommended by a colleague of mine at Colombo International School. I am so grateful for her as I had the marvelous opportunity to study under experts of ELT and had the best of everything at Reading.

What was the best bit about living and studying in Reading?

It has got to be the serene and enchanting greenery in the campus. I always felt like walking through a botanical garden when ever I was in the campus. I absolutely loved feeding the ducks and the view of trees from the library and the field covered with white blankets of snow.

What top tips would you give to students who are beginning their studies?

Always do your reading before a lecture as it does wonders during the lecture. It would be good to do a bit of volunteering and it is a must to be organised.

What are you up to now? How did you get there?

Currently I work as an ELT Lecturer at the English Language Teaching Unit of University of Sri Jayawardenapura in Sri Lanka. It is a great achievement since only the best people are selected as lecturers for the government universities in Sri Lanka, which are also the top universities in the country. I am involved in teaching and preparation of teaching materials and resources. I wouldn't have got this job, if it hadn't been for the MA in ELT, I received from the University of Reading and the CELTA certificate.

What would be your top tips for students interested in working in this sector?

You should always have a passion for teaching and the subject you are interested in teaching. You would not go far as a teacher if you don't enjoy it. It is also useful to have lots and lots of patience and an enthusiasm to work in teams.

How has the University of Reading and the Careers Centre helped in your chosen career path?

The University of Reading Careers Center has helped me immensely to write an effective CV. I participated in all the workshops and lectures of CV writing and facing job interviews organised by them. They were more than a help for me.

What are your top tips for students graduating this year? What should they be doing to secure the job they want?

It is wise to apply for as many jobs as possible and accept any offer in order to get into the career ladder. Sometimes, given the current global financial status, it is advisable to set off with a very low salary but gradually increase it. Volunteering is a great way to ensure you gain the experience and transferable skills you are necessary to apply for a job.

What does the University mean to you and what is your favourite memory?

The University of Reading is like a parent for me as it has provided me the knowledge and guidance to thrive professionally and in life. It is also a memorable place for me especially the Creighton Court accommodation and its breathtaking garden as the first two years of my married life were spent there. I have also made a few good friends, gained maturity and lots of lessons for life. I miss my little trips to Oracle, most importantly quiet life my husband and me used to have in Reading. My favorite memory is the hours spent at the library reading the Oxford ELT journals while gazing the greenery of campus.

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