Early career Language teacher support

Support is available for early career and/or geographically isolated NSW Department of Education language teachers. Learn about the Virtual Language Mentoring Network.

Don’t work for the NSW Department of Education and would like advice from an experienced Language teacher? Ask another teacher.


Back to school

School goes back this week – are you ready?

The online version of the Get Organised workshop helps you get ready with a digital colour coded timetable and daybook. Learn how to collect and organise student learning data in the digital markbook. Come report time and end of year registration, you will be so grateful you spent $220 and a day to Get Organised!
The course is available whenever and wherever you have internet:

Happy New Year!

The popular Get Organised! workshop is now available online!


My greatest wish for your new year is you looking forward to a calm, prepared, organised start.

Think forward to term 4 2017, and imagine your registers are already complete and all of your grades, student profiles and report comments ready to go.

Now you can enjoy getting organised from the comfort of your home! Why not encourage a friend to enrol too and work on the materials together?

Enrol now – Workshop cost is $220 including GST.  Relax, learn at your own pace, while getting all your paperwork under control.

Teachers start 2017 organised, relaxed and happy

How is this term finishing up for you? Are these last weeks a stressed blur of working out grades, report comments, student profiles and trying to remember everything that was covered throughout the year as you completed your register? If only you had kept up with it all throughout the year!

A rescue plan from consultingleanne.com!

Our greatest wish for your year end – looking forward to a calm, prepared start to the new year, that will keep you organised for the rest of the year. Imagine term 4 2017, where your registers are already complete and you will have all of your grades, student profiles and report comments ready to go.

2017_go_wsThat’s right, in this workshop you will create:

  • a day book
  • year planner
  • class roll
  • mark book

and learn how to maintain the files throughout the year with time saving tips!

This workshop will be held in Penrith, NSW. Exact venue will be advised closer to the date of the workshop. Penrith is a central location, just 1 hour from Sydney and Katoomba, 90 minutes from Wollongong and Gosford. Free pick up from Penrith station is available if you are coming by public transport.

Two dates are available: One in December so you can get your mark book organised while everything you needed to do this year is fresh in your mind; or one in January once you have had time to unwind a little!

Enrol now – places are limited to small numbers to ensure participants receive the assistance they need.

Workshop cost is $220 including GST. Morning tea and lunch are provided, so you can relax, while getting all your paperwork under control.

Advice for teachers visiting their new school

It is that time of year when next year’s timetables are getting sorted, positions are being advertised and teachers all around the country are finding out where they will be working next year. Whether you are a brand new teacher or a veteran, starting at a new school is always a huge learning curve, and although exciting, can set your mind spinning relentlessly.

When starting at a new school, there are so many questions to ask, you can often feel overwhelmed and forget to ask for information that will make your planning so much easier.

There is nothing worse than being confronted with a classroom behaviour issue, and realising on the spot you are not sure of the school culture regarding this aspect. Which technique will have the best outcome? Or sitting down to write reports only to realise they are not formatted as you expected they would be and having to spend countless extra hours to reformat your marks, or even worse, that you haven’t collected enough data to make a fair judgement about certain criteria.

Asking the right questions upfront ensures your planning will be successful. Use this handy checklist as a starting point! What else would you ask? Leave a comment below!




Urgently seeking prac placement 

Attn Sydney area teachers. Urgently seeking a prac placement for a masters student from Western Sydney Uni. Need half a load of Japanese and/or Chinese. Student is willing to travel anywhere in greater Sydney area. Prac starts 5 Sept until 28 October, with an induction visit hopefully on 1 or 2 September. Pleasecontact me via my contact form if you can help.

message me if you can help.

NSW Cross-Sectoral Italian Conference – Innovating and Invigorating Italian

A statewide conference and professional development opportunity for teachers of Italian

in government and non-government schools will be held Friday, 12th August 2016.

Register here.

For more information, please contact Merryl Wahlin, Languages Consultant, at mwahlin@aisnsw.edu.au or Enri Parolin at enri.parolin@det.nsw.edu.au16_NSW Cross-Sectoral Italian Conference flyerFinal

NSW Greek and Spanish Teachers’ Conferences

Greek Language teachers Conference 2016

Teachers of Greek are Invited to attend this state-wide conference and professional development opportunity for all teachers of Greek in government and non-government schools.

Teachers and student teachers can register on MyPL



Teachers of Spanish are Invited to attend this state-wide conference and professional development opportunity for all teachers of Spanish in government and non-government schools.

Teachers and student teachers can register on MyPL


NSW Japanese Teachers’ Conference 

 The Japanese teachers’ conference: Aspire to Inspire will be held at Rydges World Square on Friday 19 August 2016 from 8.30am until 4.30pm.

The Japanese Conference welcomes Japanese teachers from Kindergarten through to Year 12 from all sectors, including pre-service teachers. It is a valuable opportunity for teachers to unite, network and share best teaching practices and innovative ideas.Keynote speaker Kylie Farmer, AFMLTA President (2014-2016) and an experienced teacher of Japanese, will be presenting the newly released Japanese version of the AFMLTA standards and how these align to the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers. She will provide insights to how Japanese teachers may use these and other resources to build their Professional Development Plans.

Pip Cleaves, Head Teacher Learning Innovation, and Languages will be presenting on the future-focused Japanese classroom and sharing her expertise on how to engage 21st century learners.

Workshop sessions include future-focused learning (project-based learning, blended learning resources and collaborative tools), differentiation, HSC skills and strategies, Content and Language Integrated Learning and Aboriginal perspectives. The conference will also strengthen professional connections, update teachers in the implementation of Japanese syllabuses and deepen knowledge of Japanese language and culture.

The conference will contribute to six hours of QTC Registered PD addressing 3.4.2, 6.1.2 and 7.4.2 from the Australian Professional Standards for Teachers towards maintaining Proficient Teacher Accreditation in NSW.

NSW DoE teacher $110

Non-DoEteachers $220

Register online through MyPL@Edu Event ID: 135296


Closing date: 12 August 2016

Teachers in non-government schools who cannot access MyPL@Edu, should access the instructions to register at https://www.det.nsw.edu.au/proflearn/areas/plp/mypl/community.html

My favourite pieces of Japan in Sydney

Are you visiting Sydney, or bringing students on excursion? Here is a map of my favourite places to go, all walkable distances from Town Hall/Central Station or Darling Harbour. (Art Gallery is a bit of a long, leisurely walk from Darling Harbour!) Just click on each location to learn more about each place.

Where are your favourite pieces of Japan in Sydney? Have you made a similar map for ‘pieces of Japan’ in your town/state? I would love to hear where I should visit when travelling interstate!

What does learning a language mean to you?

A new competition launched by an SBS and Community Languages Australia (CLA) partnership is encouraging young Australians to learn a new language.


The competition is open to all CLA students in Australia aged four to 18. CLA is an umbrella body that unites over 1,000 community language schools, providing language maintenance in 69 languages to in excess of 100,000 school age children. CLA students aged four to seven are encouraged to draw a picture that illustrates what learning another language means to them, while the secondary primary and senior categories are to write their responses in language.

For more information, go to: sbs.com.au/nlc




What would be your ideal professional learning session?

Teachers are expected to differentiate learning according to the needs and interests of individual students, yet when it comes to their own professional learning, teachers are often taught in an outdated fashion, and sometimes about topics that have little application in their specialty teaching area.

Leanne wants to hear from as many language teachers across Australia as possible. Please share this post far and wide with your language teaching friends.

If you could learn anything you like in a professional development session, what would it be?

Calling my past university students

Dear past students,

Where are you now? What have you been doing since completing your university education courses with me? I am often contacted by schools looking for new teachers. I invite you to keep in touch with me, to build networks. Few students check/ have access to university emails after they leave, so let me know where to contact you!

I look forward to hearing from you,


Would you like a say in what forms NSW K-10 syllabus?

BOSTES is currently seeking feedback on the draft K-10 Languages framework.

This will inform the writing of the draft K – 10 syllabus for Arabic, Chinese, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Modern Greek, Russian, Spanish, Turkish and Vietnamese.

It is important to provide your feedback now, as this affects what you will teach in the future. Visit BOSTES to learn more.

Languages Teacher Education in Australia

AEF’s latest research report, What Works 10,  focusses on the state of languages education in Australia. It identifies 6 key issues:

  1. Shrinking of languages teacher education offerings
  2. Lack of language differentiation in teacher education
  3. Concurrency of language and methodology studies
  4. Nationally consistent and standardised assessments in languages teacher education
  5. The long road to specialisation
  6. Nationally consistent licensing for languages teachers

What Works 10 highlights the urgent need to prioritise a focus on languages teacher education in Australia.

As language teachers, we know the highlights and challenges of learning specific aspects of our languages. Future language teachers who receive tuition on how to teach their specific language certainly are advantaged, compared to those who receive a generic languages methodology instruction. Where tutorials on Japanese method, French method etc. are run, subject specialist tutors can provide students with in-depth learning experiences, built from a wealth of classroom experience. Scripted languages present unique challenges in teaching in our classrooms, and require a specialist focus.

Many language teachers work in isolation in their schools, so ongoing professional development opportunities, and time to network and share with others, online and face to face, is of utmost importance.

What are your thoughts on languages teacher education in Australia? In your experience, what has been really successful in preparing you as a language teacher? What would your number one wish for improvement be?