Meet the Languages and Culture teamComment 1 Jun 2021 4 minute read
This article was written and supplied by the NSW Department of Education.
The Languages and Culture team is part of the Educational Standards Directorate of the NSW Department of Education, and supports language teachers in NSW public schools.
Our team enhances teacher capacity to improve student learning outcomes through:
- relevant and innovative professional learning
- a dedicated web section with sample programming and assessment resources
- language teacher networks – both geographical and a virtual network for teachers who do not have access to a local network
- an online ‘statewide staffroom’ where over 600 language teachers across NSW interact with each other and with the team, sharing ideas and resources.
The team also provides department-wide curriculum leadership and policy advice, and consults on state and national initiatives relating to languages.
Team members work closely with teacher associations and foreign government agencies to ensure language teachers in NSW public schools are engaging with the opportunities provided by these organisations, including immersion weekends and professional learning webinars. We also work closely with the tertiary sector to support preservice language teachers through a range of professional learning opportunities. Language teachers commencing their career with the NSW Department of Education are able to join our Virtual Languages Mentoring Network, a 2-year mentoring program linking beginning teachers with experienced teacher mentors.
In 2020, like almost everyone in education, our roles evolved over night to include working with various teams to deliver crisis support during bushfires, school closures and COVID. On-demand professional learning, with a strong focus on online and blended learning, ensured our schools were able to continue delivery of lessons.
Our team is currently working on:
- assessment and reporting in 7-10 workshops, delivered both online and face-to-face
- support for literacy within the languages context
- professional learning relating to the department’s new High potential and gifted education policy.
Our team also includes the Nihongo Tanken Centre, which provides a stimulating and authentic Japanese environment where students from Kindergarten to Year 12 can use and further develop their Japanese language skills.
Our team views our role of supporting language teachers as an incredible privilege and values the relationships we have built with our colleagues across NSW and Australia. Our collective vision is to support the NSW Department of Education’s vision – to be Australia’s best education system and one of the finest in the world. In the centre of our work lies the students, engaging and challenging them to learn languages, both now and in the future.
If you’d like to learn more about the team, please contact Elisabeth Robertson, Coordinator, Languages and Culture, at firstname.lastname@example.org. ■
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