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Andrew Boon (PhD, 2015)

Andrew Boon

Current occupation
I am an Associate Professor in the faculty of Global Communications at Toyo Gakuen University, Tokyo, Japan. I teach a variety of classes including IELTS, ESP and EAP. I also coordinate the  Intern program in which one student from Aston University works with us for a year as an Assistant Language Teacher providing language support to our students.

Brief outline of PhD research
My PhD was a qualitative case study that utilised genre analysis to describe the various obligatory, desired, and optional moves used by post-graduate students or teacher-researchers as they interacted with me online during Instant Messenger Cooperative Development (IMCD) sessions. By communicating their ideas within a non-judgmental environment, case participants were able to seek solutions to issues they were experiencing with their research projects or teaching.

Why did you choose to study for your PhD in the School of Languages and Social Sciences?
I did my Master's degree in TESOL at Aston University and had a very rewarding experience. The Master's degree not only helped me to develop as a teacher-researcher, but was a real door-opener in my career. Thus, I wanted to undertake further research at the School of Languages and Social Sciences.

What did you find most useful about the PhD programme?
My tutors, Dr. Sue Garton and Dr. Carol Marley were a constant source of inspiration and motivation. They really helped me to get through the experience with their suggestions, guidance and support. They were what I found to be most useful. 

How has your PhD helped you in your current occupation?
I was lucky enough to get tenure in my current institution before undertaking the PhD, so I am unsure as yet to how it has helped me in my current occupation. The PhD was more of an intrinsic challenge for me. However, it has helped me gain the confidence to call myself a qualitative researcher. May I answer this question again in ten years time?