At a time when there is a heavy push by the Australian Government on universities to improve teacher quality at the teacher training level, it seems ludicrous that the new budget would slash a program that delivered a significant increase in teacher quality.
The Endeavour Language Teacher Fellowships provided teachers and pre-service teachers the opportunity to live in-country and attend intense language study sessions in the January school holidays.
For many teachers, this opportunity was their first ever trip to the country they do or will teach about, or the first opportunity to study in-country. The fellowships gave teachers the chance to significantly increase their skills and understanding, the benefits of which flow on through their classrooms, to the students they teach.
With the release of Languages in the Australian Curriculum, we see a strong emphasis on the role and interdependence of language and culture. Intercultural understanding is one of the general capabilities, a key dimension across all areas of the Australian Curriculum. Asia and Australia’s engagement with Asia is one of the three cross-curriculum priorities embedded in all learning areas. In-country experiences are the most effective way to develop the understanding necessary to effectively teach the Australian Curriculum to students, and to share professional learning with colleagues.
Has your teaching benefited from receiving one of the fellowships? Leave a comment below, then pop over to AFMLTA’s site to see what you can do to urge the Government to return funding to this worthwhile program.