Anuja Mariyam Thomas | American University of Sharjah

The ideal place to launch a research career

Anuja Mariyam Thomas

College of Arts and Sciences
Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL)

Joining the Master of Arts in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (MA TESOL) has been pivotal in Anuja Mariyam Thomas’ research career.

A holder of a Bachelor of Arts in English Language and Literature from AUS, Thomas returned to her alma mater because of her interest in specializing in the application of linguistics within the field of education and a love for research, and she was offered the position of graduate research assistant.

“The research area I focused on was teaching paragraph structure to students of English as an additional language. Teaching of paragraph structure, and academic writing in general, can be seen as a practical and specialized aspect of teaching the English language. It teaches a skill that will benefit students as they seek to join the professional and academic worlds and give them confidence,” she said.

Reflecting on her experience at AUS, Thomas said that it was the warm and inviting community that inspired her during her graduate studies. 

“My professors have been kind and understanding and a great source of motivation to me, particularly my research supervisor Dr. Philip McCarthy. He played a pivotal part in guiding me through the roles and responsibilities of being a researcher,” she said.

Thomas also had the opportunity to share her research with the broader academic community. 

“I have to say that my professional highlight was when I had the privilege of presenting my research at the International Conference on Writing for STEM in November 2019. I did not only share my research, but also I was able to overcome my personal hurdle of nervousness and stage fear,” she said. 

She continued, ”The best part of the conference, and in fact, my whole journey through this program, was when my parents and brother told me how proud they were of me.”

Thomas has already planned her next step. She will be pursuing a master’s in psychology with the aim of honing her research skills in linguistic psychology in the United States.