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Sample Personal Statement of Purpose for Graduate School, MSc Linguistics, Saudi Arabian

The teaching of languages in my home country, Saudi Arabia, is usually based on the old ‘chalk and talk’ principle with little participation by students and the results often reflect this situation. I am passionate in my desire to change the teaching methods in use. Once I have completed an M.Sc. in Linguistics, I shall have the opportunity to take up a post teaching future language teachers and so to help change the language teaching environment and to indirectly enthuse a generation of language students who might otherwise regard language learning as a burden rather than a fascinating journey of discovery. My immediate goal is to join the program, to ‘add value’ to it, to acquire expert skills and knowledge, and then to return home to teach. Ultimately, I hope to pursue a Ph.D. and to become an acknowledged authority in the specialty undertaking research and teaching at the highest level.

I was awarded a First Class degree in English Language in my undergraduate studies with an exceptional GPA score.  This was in spite of the fact that, in my first year of studies, I suffered health issues (now resolved) and the death of my father with whom I enjoyed a very close relationship and whose loss was devastating to me. I believe that these facts provide an assurance as to my academic ability and potential, and that they demonstrate exceptional diligence and determination in the face of difficult challenges. I was awarded first prize for the translation of a book from English into Arabic which was a very worthwhile and interesting learning experience. The scholarship provided by my government to study in the US is a further endorsement both of my proven ability and recognized potential, and of which I am very proud.

Because of my GPA scores, I was invited to become a teaching assistant in the university, a role that I undertook for two very enjoyable years and which fully confirmed me in my choice of career. I applied my knowledge of linguistics to teaching English to students seeking their active participation and engagement which resulted in a significant improvement in grades, a fact which was noted by both students and faculty. I have also acted as a volunteer teacher to orphans. This was a moving and inspiring experience during which I succeeded in providing an enjoyable but effective learning experience. I realized that it was important to acquire experience outside of the academic world to enable me to teach effectively and so I undertook various translation roles which were both interesting and instructive.

I have developed an interest in sign language and am currently studying English sign language with the intention of gaining a basic qualification. I also have an interest in the Turkish language which I am learning informally. I write poetry in Arabic and enjoy translating classic English poetry into Arabic which I sometimes recite when visiting the elderly as a volunteer.

I have always intended to teach and have, consequently, always carefully studied the character and techniques of the best teachers in my own academic career. I know that an excellent teacher : is approachable and amiable; has the ability to enthuse and inspire; has highly developed observational skills; has an ability to break down complex concepts into basic elements; has the ability to plan and set achievable but challenging goals and is prepared to innovate and be flexible.  I have sought to demonstrate these characteristics in my limited experience to date and am determined to emulate the very best of those teachers whilst also seeking to change and improve teaching methods used in my home country.

I know that my goal of changing the ‘production-line’ method applied in the teaching of languages in Saudi Arabia is a very ambitious one and one that will not be achieved overnight by one person or only a few. However I intend to apply patience, determination and diplomatic persistence in achieving such changes and see myself as a potential catalyst by equipping aspiring teachers with the most effective techniques to enable them to pass on their knowledge and skills to their students by collaborative engagement rather than talking down to them.

I am aware that language and culture are closely related. I greatly look forward to learning more about the culture in the US and in sharing knowledge of my own.

I have carefully researched the programs available to help me achieve my goals and have concluded that your own is the ‘best fit’. I am seeking a challenging but supportive academic environment in which I shall be enabled to perfect my knowledge of the English language and to acquire knowledge and skills in linguistics. I regard the curriculum as especially appropriate to my own goals and I am aware of the work of the prestigious faculty and the success of the program’s graduates. 

To summarize: I have proven academic success and believe that I have the potential to excel in the program rather than to merely succeed; I have teaching experience in which I have managed to improved student engagement and results; I have professional translation experience; I believe that I possess the characteristics to enable me to become an excellent teacher and innovator. However my main recommendation is a genuine passion for linguistics and the teaching of English.

Thank you for considering my application.

For as many people as possible, among those who provide me with adequate information, I carefully review it so as to produce what in my opinion would be a model first paragraph for your statement. The first paragraph is especially critical. Many experts suggest that many applicants are generally accepted or rejected on the basis of the first paragraph alone. I do several of these a day; about half of these applicants decide to become paying customers so that I can finish the statement. Then, they often recommend me to their friends who are also going through the application process. This is how I support myself and my son, laying something aside for his future. Let's get started working on your statement together, as a team!

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Sample 1st 2 Paragraphs for the PHD in Linguistics, Saudi Arabian

A young woman from Saudi Arabia, English has been my special love ever since I was a child and I am most pleased to have had the opportunity to live in the USA since 2010 and to earn my Masters Degree in TESOL. Now, in addition to preparing myself for a long career teaching English and teachers of English, I hope to contribute to my profession as a linguist and to publish in this area, with special attention to the challenges faced by Arabic speakers at learning English.

I hope to develop a better understanding of the effect of cross-linguistics interface on language acquisition: especially with respect to semantic structure and syntactic variation. I am also very much interested in the correlation between language acquisition and identity. I look forward to serving as a professor in a university in a Linguistics or English Department. I want to be an active scholar in the area of linguistics, English, and second language acquisition, publishing articles and books that will contribute to overcoming obstacles faced by learners in a language acquisition process. 

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