Thursday, January 21, 2010

Why write an MA thesis in Applied Linguistics?

Why not, some might say. They must be very weird people. But I do know some who are doing it and don't even have the smallest clue what their objectives are. I've always been quite sure I had good reasons to do so but till yesterday I'd never thought trough what they were exactly.

Yesterday a person asked me to help them do research on research. I filled out the questionnaire on writing an MA thesis in applied linguistics and surprised myself by being very enthusiastic about the purpose of my research. Of course I knew I liked the idea, I just didn't know I was unconsciously a research fan. Let me start at the beginning.

So why am I writing it in the first place? The day before yesterday I would have said because I want to finish my studies and start working. Now I know I'm doing it because this is what I actually enjoy. I love teaching. But that's like for a chef to be teaching people how to make pancakes. Delicious pancakes and they're really happy about it, and I'm happy about it, but still. I can teach people because I know how they learn, how their mind and feelings work and I can help them do their best. But what I really love doing is research.

So why an MA thesis? The day before yesterday I would have said because this is how to finish my studies. Now I feel it's more like a debut. It's not even a rehearsal, it's a premiere. I don't want to start writing big words, I just really feel that this is the first chance for the would-be researcher to show the world how good (s)he is. And it's actually a huge thing that the university offer courses etc. to help.

So that's what it is, a chance to demonstrate that I could do this in future, given the opportunity. And I think it's really important. That's why I'm doing my best, not just going for the mark but really doing my best. And obviously I'm enjoying it a lot. It's really very interesting and I can immerse in the topic for hours without realizing it. It's a bit like something being born. All those results showing up out of nowhere, taking form from a simple table and explaining lots of lots of stuff... It's really amazing.

I'll get back to work now. I feel I haven't said half of what I wanted to. Maybe next time. Now it's time to work.

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