Portrait of Siyuan li

Siyuan Li

I studied Education at Shaanxi Normal University (SNNU) from 2005 to 2009. I was the President of the Student Union of the School of Education and the 9th president of Sharon English Club which is the biggest student organization at SNNU. SNNU was one of the Chinese partner universities of the University of Leeds. In the 4th year of my undergraduate study, I was selected to join the Special Entry Scheme between SNNU and Leeds which aims to send top Shaanxi Normal University graduates to study at Leeds with a Special Entry Scheme Scholarship. I was always interested in the English language and intercultural issues; therefore, the Masters degree in Professional Language and Intercultural Studies became my first and only choice.

I chose to study the MA Professional Language and Intercultural Studies at Leeds partly because of the special entry scheme, but most importantly, the University is one of the top 100 universities in the world and it has good reputation in China.

I liked the diversity of students on my course: 12 students from 5 countries. I also enjoyed the freedom teachers gave us to explore the issues which interested us and they showed their appreciation of our academic works. My current PhD supervisor was a lecturer of my MA module, and I wrote a paper for this module. Then he asked me if I wanted to continue the topic of the paper to do a PhD with him. This is one of the main reasons why I started my PhD.

During my PhD study at Leeds, I was selected twice to become a tutor of Rixa, a series of elite interdisciplinary seminars run by top PhD students from all over the Faculty of Arts. I have also taught three lectures for Skills and Issues in Intercultural Studies and The Asia Pacific Region since 1945. I hope to become a lecturer/researcher at a university, I believe this experience will be beneficial.

After completing my MA, I taught English (IELTS and TOEFL) at China’s biggest private education group New Oriental Education and Technology Group from 2010 to 2012. Then I came back to Leeds and started my PhD. Currently, I am doing my PhD and working part-time as a Chinese market analyst at the Callcredit Information Group.

In terms of my teaching job in China, my MA equipped me with English skills in speaking, listening, reading and writing. All the tutors in these areas were fantastic. Because IELTS and TOEFL also test the candidate’s skills in these four parts, the modules of MAPLIS are perfect to train a qualified English teacher in China.

In terms of my research, MAPLIS supported me by inviting lecturers from different departments and schools to train students academically by teaching theories in international relations, intercultural studies, linguistic and enlightening students to explore hot topics within these areas.