Postgraduate Personal Statement Example: TESOL & Linguistics

Studying examples of personal statements can be an extremely valuable strategy when you’re applying to a university or college course. 

That’s because personal statement examples can teach you how to write and structure your application, and you can quickly learn how to write a personal statement by examining others.

But with so many university personal statement examples available, how do you know if you’re reading a good one?

Postgraduate personal statements should highlight relevant academic and practical experience, research skills and ambitions and their suitability for the course. This postgraduate personal statement example for TESOL & Linguistics considers these three critical elements.

Studying master’s degree personal statement examples can be especially valuable. They’re sometimes referred to as personal mission statements or statements of purpose, so if you’re tasked with writing a personal mission statement, the following example will work for you.

I’ve broken down this personal statement example section by section, with a commentary on each element. 

That way, you’ll see its strengths and weaknesses and get some inspiration for your own personal statement.

Once you’ve read the personal statement example and analysis, you can download a pdf of the whole document to use as inspiration for your own!

Postgraduate Personal Statement Example: TESOL & Linguistics

Personal Statement Example: Introduction

““In me the tiger sniffs the rose.” Sassoon’s compelling line has always inspired me to enjoy both the “tiger” and “rose” in my own personal and professional life and offers me the motivation needed to become an outstanding English teacher. To achieve this goal, I intend to dedicate myself to exploring English teaching methods through courses such as Language Teaching Methodology and Teaching Young Learners. I am confident that by pursuing the TESOL and Applied Linguistics MA programme at Slater University, I will gain a rich understanding of critical ideas in English language teaching, adding value to my own life and those of my students.”

My Commentary and Analysis 

In this personal and engaging introduction, the writer has used a quotation to outline their motivation and show their ongoing engagement with their subject of choice.

They’ve also taken the opportunity to illustrate the logical progression of their academic and professional ambitions, linking their goals with the opportunities available on the course.

A relatively concise and direct introduction, it expresses the writer’s personality and genuine passion whilst creating a legitimate motivation for higher study on this particular course.

If you’re struggling with your personal statement introduction, check out my article on how to write perfect opening paragraphs here.

Personal Statement Example: Academic Background

“My graduate studies in Teaching English have laid a robust foundation for my further studies. Taking courses covering educational theories, dialectics, English language and literature and English teaching assessment, I’ve developed my understanding of the theoretical aspects of English teaching. Equally, my experience supporting learners through the use of modern educational technology has prepared me for the Technology-Enhanced Language Learning module. To explore teaching and learning strategies, I’ve enhanced my critical thinking and analytical skills through extensive reading and essay writing. Participating in several tutor-led research projects, one of which focused on the design of micro-writing teaching activities in high school English, I applied literature research methodologies, classroom observation techniques and interviews. I identified and analysed the challenges students and teachers face, and the research results were included in a 30,000-word academic paper.

Consequently, I am confident that my capacity for research and data analysis will fully support my study of English language teaching and effectively underpin my studies at Slater. Equally, my meticulous attitude and strict logical thinking are reflected in my outstanding academic results and active participation in regular extracurricular activities. As vice president of the student union, I took responsibility for event planning, organising a wide range of student activities and raising team cohesion by showing excellent organisational and communication skills.”

My Commentary and Analysis

This is a convincing section which outlines the writer’s educational background fully. It covers academic and practical elements and explains clearly how the writer has gained a range of relevant skills and experiences which have prepared them well for study at a higher level.

The writer then outlines the ways in which this level of preparation will add value to their studies and, in doing so, makes clear and effective links with regard to their suitability. 

Making this connection in a master’s personal statement is critical, as it reassures an admissions reader that the applicant is committed to further study and that they have the transferable skills to succeed.

The final section outlines further transferable skills that may well be of value on a postgraduate course and certainly in an educational role. It would be even more valuable if this was linked directly to a specific aspect of the course being applied for.

If you’d like to learn more about structuring your personal statement or statement of purpose, you can read my complete guide to writing a master’s degree personal statement here

Alternatively, click on the image below to download a free template for structuring your writing.

Personal Statement Example: Practical Experience 1

“To deepen my theoretical understanding of English teaching methodology, I interned as an English teacher and class advisor at a technical school. By completing classroom observations, researching textbooks, preparing course materials and devising teaching syllabi according to the curriculum, I improved my knowledge of English, gained a deeper understanding of the relationship between English teaching and learning, and accumulated practical skills in English teaching. Applying my well-grounded knowledge of modern teaching theories and methods to conduct English teaching in various contexts, I was gratified to see my students progress confidently. I received sound feedback from students and a high appraisal from the instructor, increasing my confidence in working in the English teaching sector.

This valuable experience helped me realise that my current teaching methods need to be more expert if I am to help students move beyond the mechanical repetition of grammar rules and vocabulary. I am confident that by examining the theoretical and practical aspects of the English language and studying modules such as Practice of English Language Teaching and Psychology of Language Learning and Teaching, I will become the competent and inspirational teacher I desire to be.”

Commentary and Analysis

This critical section outlines the writer’s practical teaching experience. Given their ambitions and the course content, it’s essential material to include as it shows an admissions team that they have not only had this experience but are still positive about developing a career in this field.

That means they’re more likely to view the application more positively: they can see the applicant’s relevancy and potential and how the course will connect with their goals.

The writer also outlines the skills and experiences developed during this internship, which are also relevant to their goals and will be of value on the course. 

The reflection at the end of this section is crucial as it shows self-awareness regarding skills that need to be developed and also knowledge and understanding of the course content that will help them achieve this.

When the reader sees this kind of link made by a self-aware and motivated student, it’s easier for them to judge the candidate’s suitability and make an achievable offer.

Check out lots more examples of personal statements here, and see how they can inspire your application!

Personal Statement Example: Future Study Aims

“Aware of Slater’s competitive reputation for academic excellence, I have been developing my knowledge of linguistics, phonetics, semantics and pedagogy by reading relevant books and literature sources prior to starting the MA programme. During my postgraduate studies, I will treat every course seriously, endeavour to gain expert knowledge regarding the cognitive and social processes of language learning and lay a thorough grounding in current research, theories, principles and practices in English education. My goal is to learn how to design effective teaching plans and devise appropriate testing methods for English teaching and develop my capabilities in analysing, synthesising and evaluating research sources in TESOL and Applied Linguistics. I also intend to accumulate teaching experience by interning at various educational or training institutions. All of these experiences will combine to provide me with the advanced skills necessary to help students master knowledge as a result of my logical and dynamic teaching style.”

My Commentary and Analysis: 

This section begins with the use of relevant vocabulary, which further reassures the reader that the writer is immersed in their intended field of study.

It would have been more effective if the writer had identified some of the sources of their research, argued for or against the findings of others or related the value of this knowledge directly to the challenges they expect to face on the course.

There’s a summary of academic and professional goals included here, which connects clearly to the course outcomes.

However, the rest of this section is quite general and doesn’t really add any new or tangible information. It sounds good, but it’s quite empty content. Essentially, the writer is promising to be a good student, and although that’s reassuring, it doesn’t really offer any depth or detail.

The one thing that all successful personal statements have in common is that they are concise, engaging and accurate in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Consequently, I always recommend Grammarly to my students and clients. 

It’s an outstanding tool for ensuring your personal statement is rich with detail whilst hitting those all-important word limits. Check out the latest version of Grammarly here, or hit the banner for more information.

Personal Statement Example: Conclusion

“I have selected the TESOL and Applied Linguistics MA programme at Slater University to engage in debate with the programme’s erudite professors, access the rich alum resources and contribute to the worldwide prestige of a faculty which will be of great help to my intellectual growth and career development. I am confident that my previous experiences, my engaging and communicative nature and my capacity for detailed research and application will be of reciprocal value to the Slater community. An optimistic, positive, and sociable individual with the patience to teach and a strong desire to continually expand my knowledge and understanding, I’m convinced that, whatever the challenges, this course represents the next step on my personal and professional journey. I look forward to adding to the diversity of spirit, culture and opportunity that exemplifies Slater’s ethos.”

My Commentary and Analysis

In some ways, this conclusion covers all the critical points. It outlines the applicant’s motivation for study, considers their value to the institution and indicates an awareness of the ethos and culture of the learning experience on offer.

Whilst these are all necessary elements to include in a concluding paragraph, they don’t contain very much detail.

When writing about the university, there’s no mention of particular faculty members the writer would like to work with or tangible physical resources such as libraries, labs or on-campus organisations. There’s no real sense of types of research opportunities or how this particular college is more important than any other.

As a result, it feels like this conclusion could have been written without having read any of the relevant literature.

You must ensure you include detail in your personal statement conclusion and that it is specific and compelling. 

There’s some mention of the value they might add, but no consideration of context. How will their previous experiences and communication skills be of value to the community? They don’t actually say.

The reader is consequently left with the impression that this candidate knows a lot about their field but little about the university they are applying to.

This could easily jeopardise their application, despite much of this personal statement being of a high standard.

For more great advice, check out my article on writing an excellent final personal statement paragraph here.

Click here or on the banner below to get your free download of this complete personal statement example

Whether you’re looking for personal mission statement examples or an example of personal purpose statement, I hope this personal statement example has been helpful. Above all, I wish you every success in your academic career. 

If you’d like to work with me to develop your personal statement 1:1 and write a powerful mission statement, I’d be delighted to hear from you. 

Find out about my personal statement support services by clicking here or on the image below.

Research and content verified by Personal Statement Planet.

David Hallen

I've worked in the Further Education and University Admissions sector for nearly 20 years as a teacher, department head, Head of Sixth Form, UCAS Admissions Advisor, UK Centre Lead and freelance personal statement advisor, editor and writer. And now I'm here for you...

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