UCL Centre for Languages & International Education (CLIE)


Asuka Nitta

Meet Asuka - she's from Japan and studied the Online English Course and has shared her experiences with us.

Nitta Asuka

Where are you currently studying for your undergraduate degree? What is your degree subject and when will you graduate?

I am currently studying at the English Department of Kobe Foreign Language University. I am going to graduate from here in three years. As my main subject is English, I have always been studying it even before doing the Online English course.

Why did you choose to study the UCL Online English Course?

I chose to take this course because I needed to consume more authentic, living English than I do in my university and daily life in Japan. But the biggest reason for me was I thought this was going to be a great opportunity to get to know native English speakers to improve my fluency in English.

What were the highlights of the course, and why?

The highlights of the course were the conversation cafe every Friday where I could have spontaneous conversations with UCL students. It gave me lots of confidence that I lacked before. Another one is of course the content of each lecture. The ultimate good thing is that you'll be able to be exposed to real things that are related to Britain including the lecture itself in this course.

How did you find taking this course online?

The style of teaching and learning was quite organised and straightforward.  The only thing that you must make yourself familiar with using Moodle (an online learning website) and Microsoft Teams (for online video calls) I suppose. Once you get used to it you'll be finding any documents and files that you need on those services.

What was the most challenging thing about the course and why?

There were two challenging things for me.

Firstly, sometimes the academic lectures could be so difficult to understand due to the lack of my listening skill and vocabulary even with checking the word list and pre-lessons that we do beforehand.

The second thing was that because we aren't so fluent in English, it was occasionally hard for us to get what we are meaning in the group discussions.

What were your teachers like? 

The tutors of mine were all kind and helpful luckily. They adjust the speaking speeds for non-native English speakers like us so there would be no need to be afraid of being unable to keep up. They are there to help you out and guide you so there's nothing to worry about. You can ask them whatever you want and there's a way to do it such as reaching them out through Microsoft Teams or questioning them during the classes and so on.

What skills did you develop on the UCL Online English Course and how will they help you in the future?

I have improved my presentation skills and delivered my own ideas and thoughts to others in English. I do believe it will help me understand people that I would be talking to more fully and make myself understood as well.

What advice would you give to a student who is thinking of studying the UCL Online English Course?

If I'm honest, I do not think there is such a special studying that you must do beforehand. It is just reading emails and provided files from UCL thoroughly not to miss some important information about the course. However, the one thing that you absolutely should do is mentally prepare for the occasions where you are supposed to speak up. You cannot experience a lot when you don't even try to tell others what you think about the topic and what you learn from it. So, make sure to say your opinions as much as you can during this course.