The orientation programme of the MA in TESL (Teaching English as a Second Language) of the Department of English and Linguistics of University of Sri Jayewardenepura took place on 3rd of October 2020 at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. This is the first-ever MA programme conducted by the Department of English and Linguistics of the University.
While warmly welcoming the maiden batch of MA students, Dr. Chitra Jayathilake – the Head of Department of English and Linguistics and the Co-coordinator of the MA programme – highlighted the benefits of reading for this MA in TESL and how this post graduate qualification would help English teachers in the country to broaden their knowledge and to sharpen their skills in teaching. “A Masters is a step ‘UP’ from a bachelor’s degree, requiring students to engage in more advanced research methods and independent study while focusing on a particular subject specialization. The transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study might seem a little daunting at first glance, but will be smooth with the well-structured programme and the support extended by the university” She added that both the MA programme and the first batch will be historicized as the pioneers, hence, requested the students to put their mark on the university and to leave an imprint on the MA programme.
The Dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, Professor Shirantha Heenkenda also addressed the gathering and remarked on the importance of English Language teaching in Sri Lanka and how this concept is widely discussed today due to the huge demand in the country for qualified and talented English teachers.
The Dean, Faculty of Graduate Studies of the University, Prof. M.M. Pathmalal, has conveyed his congratulations on the well-deserved success. A message from Ms. Parvathi Nagasundaram, a pioneering Head of Department of English and Linguistics was delivered by Dr. Sujeeva S. Pereira congratulating the department on achieving this important milestone and appreciating the efforts taken by the academic staff in reaching this goal. The orientation programme ended with an interactive explanation of the programme presented by Dr Sujeewa Hettiarachchi (Senior Lecturer and Co-coordinator of the MA programme).
Other academic staff members present at the orientation programme of the MA in TESL included Dr. Lalith Ananda (Senior Lecturer), Dr. Tharanga Weerasooriya (Senior Lecturer) and the junior staff members of the Department.