B. Salomi Sneha Latha is a Ph.D. Research Scholar from the Centre for English Language Studies, University of Hyderabad, working on the topic ‘Improving teacher learning through dynamic assessment’ under the supervision of Prof. Pingali Sailaja. Sneha Latha was selected for the Commonwealth split-site Ph. D. scholarship for the year 2018-2019, and as a part of this, she got an opportunity to spend one year as a visiting scholar at the Open University in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom. During this period, she worked under the supervision of Dr. Prithvi Shrestha, Senior Lecturer at the School of Applied Linguistics in the Open University.
The year-long journey at the Open University was an insightful and rich learning experience for the scholar. It enabled the research scholar to extend her network and get acquainted with current research trends in her field of study. She attended international conferences such as European Association of Language Testing and Assessment (EALTA) conference in Dublin, and presented her work-in-progress at the Future of ELT conference, London, and Educational Role of Language Conference in Craiova, Romania. These international conferences served as a platform for sharing of ideas and research experiences with scholars and teaching practitioners from different parts of the world. In addition to attending international conferences, the scholar participated actively in the seminars, workshops and competitions held in her host University. This exposure to western academic culture has given the researcher many new perspectives about carrying out educational research.
The stay in UK also provided the research scholar with many enriching cultural experiences. Meeting and befriending people from different countries, cultures, traditions and lifestyles was one of the most fascinating parts of this trip for the researcher. Also, travelling to magnificent cities like London, Birmingham, Bath and Stratford-upon-Avon rejuvenated the mind and spirit and instilled new levels of energy in the research scholar. On the whole, visiting the UK as a Commonwealth split-site scholar was an outstanding experience and helped the scholar to evolve as a better researcher.