Shi Yichen:
An Senior English Major Student’s Growth

Major: English

Future Direction: Studying TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) in University of Edinburgh

Before graduation, the English major student Shi Yichen has received six offers in total from world-renowned universities, including the University of Edinburgh, the University of Leeds, and the University of Melbourne.

At the beginning of his first year, he was asked to revise his English essays five or six times by the professors; but he could barely reach the professor’s expectations back then. “When I was writing essays, I still first thought in Chinese, and then translated into English in my mind. Thus I always failed to write it well. The only solution to this problem was to read, write and speak English more,” said by Shi Yichen.

At a time, he has finished reading a several-hundred-thousand-word English novel within one month. During his spare time, he made full use of the oversea faculty in WKU as great resources for learning by visiting their offices a couple times per week to ask questions. Starting in his first year, he memorized 30 or 40 English words every day and this habit lasted all the way into his third year. By immersing himself in this English environment every day, his English has been greatly improved to the point that he scored 7.5 on IELTS.

During the second year, many of his classmates changed their majors to business, but he remained in English because of his great passion for the language.

During the four years in university, Shi Yichen did not really exert all his efforts on study. Instead, he paid even more attention to communication and other skills.

During the interview, Shi Yichen mentioned many times that he loves communicating with others a lot. He is convinced that if he communicates with different kinds of people, only then can he receive diverse information to broaden his horizons.

Throughout the frequent exchanges with oversea faculty, Shi Yichen has made many friends. The topics of their conversations involve study, hobbies and interests, and culture which have overturned some of his previous perceptions about other countries, and given him new perspectives on the world.

In addition, Shi Yichen has joined the student council to speak for WKU students’ rights and interests. He also attended the World Internet Conference (Wuzhen summit) and communicated with undergrads from Qinghua university, Fudan University, and other regions around the world who were also attending.

He has also kept one important hobby: regular exercise. Strength and endurance offered him enough energy to study and being in good shape has boosted his confidence.

Now, Shi Yichen has decided to study TESOL at the University of Edinburgh, and also plans to join a master program related to translation. He said: “For me, language is a sophisticated tool since it can cross disciplines and cultures and finally cross communicative barriers.”

He also mentioned his favorite saying which he heard from a professor and found to be useful: “Be young, have fun and make mistakes.”

Author: Zhou Yihan