We asked Ágota Duró, a firm favorite with our students, to look back on her first year with us in the Department of International English. Here are her thoughts.
Ágota Duró on campus on a blue-sky day
It has been almost a year since I started teaching at Hiroshima Jogakuin University, but it seems like only yesterday. During my first year I was in charge of many English classes, which meant that I had the opportunity to teach and get to know a lot of students. Depending on their major, students had different interests, but I built a strong bond with them through various group activities, which meant that even those students previously not interested in English began to enjoy the classes. Teaching the English classes has been a very fulfilling, precious, and rewarding experience. The students also used an online library system called "XReading" and read short books on various topics every week. Learning English is a gradual process but "XReading" undoubtedly helped students increase their vocabulary as well as their reading speed in English.
Besides the English classes, I had the chance to interact with students from Bowling Green State University (USA) and give a lecture to them on various perspectives related to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima. Since Peace Studies is my specialty, this experience helped me prepare me for my upcoming Peace Studies courses that I will teach next year at HJU.
I also appreciate the various campus events (such as Orientation Camp, Halloween, and Ayame Festival) in which I could participate and build a good relationship with many students and colleagues. During the Open Campus events and Open Seminars, I could get to know prospective students, and I was always delighted to see how enthusiastically they learn English and take part in various group activities. Additionally, I was in charge of the English Café during the second semester, and every week some lovely and smart students visited my office. We always had a lot of fun while practicing English conversation and learning new words. What made me even happier is that one very talented student eagerly learned Hungarian with me, which is my native language.
Since Hiroshima Jogakuin University is a Christian university, it organizes various events and talks related to Christianity on a weekly basis, which I mostly tried to attend and as a result could gain new perspectives.
Outside my teaching hours, I had the opportunity to make further progress in my research, attend academic conferences, and participate in an educational workshop in Hokkaido. Additionally, my doctoral dissertation will be published as a book by Lexington Books, an American academic publishing company, presumably next year. I am really grateful to Hiroshima Jogakuin University for the supportive environment that enables me to continue my research.
In retrospect, this has been a wonderful and very fulfilling year and I honestly enjoyed every day at Hiroshima Jogakuin University. Not only could I build positive and friendly relationships with many of the students and my colleagues, but I could also gain valuable teaching experience. From this April, I am really looking forward to facing new challenges, meeting and teaching new students, and further pursuing my passion.
It has been wonderful having Duró sensei in our department and the students and teachers look forward to spending more time with her over the upcoming years.