AISWA VET Coordinators - 2024 VET Funding Applications now open! Closing end of Term 2.

AISWA Languages Teachers' Stories

AISWA Languages is all about teachers sharing their stories to inspire, encourage and support the learning and teaching of Languages. We would love to hear stories on innovative programs and teacher and student achievement. Please contact our Languages Consultant if you would like to contribute an article or story below.

  • More than 150 secondary students from across Western Australia recently attended an excursion at UWA to learn more about the importance of learning Bahasa Indonesia. Read more


  • A summary of the recent Intercultural Language Learning PL which looks at establishing a rationale for using an intercultural approach and what this looks like in a language classroom. Read more


  • This comprehensive 7-day course over three phases, presented by Dr Lindy Norris develops an extensive range of knowledge, skills, and understandings about second language acquisition and teaching. Read more


  • Understanding the principles and practices of the Early Years Learning Framework supports language teachers to implement effective pedagogy in the younger years. Two recent PLs matching these principles with effective practice have helped and encouraged local language teachers. Read more


  • An overview of the Create, Collaborate and Communicate: Using digital technologies in the Languages Classroom PL which has been offered four times this year in response to ongoing demand. Read more


  • Are you a newly graduated teacher ready to embark on your language teaching journey?  Or have you come from another profession and moved into teaching languages? Here are some helpful tips. Read more


  • AISWA congratulates Mr Benjamin Lomas, Principal of Peter Moyes Anglican Community School for winning the Modern Language Teachers' Association of WA Principal's Award for 2021. Read more


  • If you teach a language in early childhood, read this summary of our 2020 Term 3 workshop, where experienced teachers share their creative and fun ideas. Read more

    • Ideas for teaching
    • P-10 Languages Curriculum

  • Brother Ridwhan Mayze, Principal of Al-Hidayah Islamic School, wins the 2020 MLTAWA Principal's Award for Commitment and Support to the Languages Program in their School. This is the first time an Independent school and a school offering Arabic has won this prestigious award. Read more

    • Building sustainable language programs
    • Promoting Languages
    • Teacher professional development

  • A summary of what works and what doesn't in language learning via distance. Secondary teachers shared their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic via an online meeting on 13 May, 2020. Read more


  • A summary of what works and what doesn't in language learning via distance. Primary teachers shared their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic via an online meeting on 12 May, 2020. Read more


  • A summary of what works and what doesn't in language learning via distance. Early Childhood teachers shared their experiences during the Covid-19 pandemic via an online meeting on 11 May, 2020. Read more


  • The Covid-19 pandemic has been the greatest disruptor to education in our lifetime. Some see this as a circuit breaker to complacency and out-dated ways of teaching; a time for new beginnings and opportunities. No-one could argue that teachers have been forced out of their comfort zones to try new tools, strategies and approaches without being able to see the light at the end of the tunnel. Read more

    • Ideas for teaching
    • P-10 Languages Curriculum
    • Teacher professional development

  • Covid19 has made online teaching an essential aspect of our profession. However, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the range of options out there. If you are new to online learning and teaching via remote means, here are some tips: Read more

    • Ideas for teaching
    • Teacher professional development

  • Gamification using Classcraft links well to task-based language learning/teaching (TBLT) and provides a classroom management tool that is suited young adolescent learners. One participant mentioned, "this PL has opened my eyes and I feel reinvigorated about teaching Year 7 students next year". Read more

    • Ideas for teaching
    • P-10 Languages Curriculum
    • Teacher professional development

  • Language awareness is an important part of language learning and is included in the aims of the Western Australian Curriculum. Read more

    • Ideas for teaching
    • P-10 Languages Curriculum

  • AISWA recently ran two half-day workshops for early childhood language teachers. Participants included a mix of qualified early childhood teachers, as well as those who have been trained in primary or secondary and have found themselves teaching in the early years. Read more

    • Ideas for teaching
    • P-10 Languages Curriculum
    • Teacher professional development

  • We congratulate the wonderful colleague Claire Leong for being nominated for the 2019 Australian Education, Department Head of the Year Award. Claire is currently Head of Languages at Wesley College and has been leading the way in Languages education throughout her career. In the new Wesley Languages Centre, the Wandjoo Miya, the Languages team are guided by Claire's leadership and vision to prepare boys to become 'world ready'. Read more

    • Building sustainable language programs
    • Promoting Languages

  • The VET Certificates II and III in Applied Languages are nationally recognised qualifications in the study of a language. These courses can be delivered in schools from Year 9 if schools establish an auspicing partnership with a Registered Training organisation (RTO). They are a great way of providing language pathways between the middle and senior years of school. Read more

    • Promoting Languages

  • One topic that school leaders and language teachers often inquire about is the amount of time allocated to the teaching and learning of a second language, and whether or not the allocation is mandated? Read more

    • Building sustainable language programs
    • P-10 Languages Curriculum
    • Promoting Languages

  • Iona Presentation College student, Rya Hwight, recently wonfirst place in the Senior Division of the NAILA Awards. Read about her thoughts and journey of learning Indonesian. She is one of the foundation students of Iona's new Indonesian program under the guidance of teacher Tundi Gosselink. Read more

    • Promoting Languages

  • “Languages” is the current state and nationally agreed term for the learning area that was formerly referred to as “LOTE” (Languages Other Than English). “Languages” has been in use for over a decade and is reflected in state and national curriculum documents including the 2008 Melbourne Declaration on Educational Goals for Young Australian, the Australian Curriculum and the Western Australian Curriculum. Yet the old nomenclature is still being used in many of our schools. Read more

    • Promoting Languages

  • Yiyili Community School has 70 students and is located half way between Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek, home of the Gooniyandi people. Gooniyandi language learning is compulsory at the school from Pre-primary to Year 10. The school is swiftly developing the structure of its Languages program to meet the 2 hours notional time as recommended by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority. Read more

    • Building sustainable language programs
    • P-10 Languages Curriculum
    • Promoting Languages

  • Education Perfect has developed a flexible assessment tool is freely available for all Australian teachers to use with their classes during Term 1 of 2018. Read more

    • Ideas for teaching

  • Recently Annie Folk from the Language Centre showed some fun resources for any language classroom. Watch this short video to see a sample of the resources being demonstrated. Read more

    • Ideas for teaching

  • Kelly Barron teaches primary French at Presbyterian Ladies College, where staff are encouraged to engage in and initiate research to improve understanding of students and learning. AISWA Languages Consultant, Kate Reitzenstein interviewed Kelly about her research and found that it has led to a desire for future research into language learning. Read more

    • Building sustainable language programs
    • Promoting Languages
    • Teacher professional development

  • Education Perfect has recently added Noongar to its list of languages. This is fantastic opportunity to create word lists derived from Sharon Gregory's Noongar Dictionary. Read more

    • P-10 Languages Curriculum

  • AISWA have recently migrated Teacher Stories from the former AISWA Languages website to this new section. Here is the old 'Ecoutons!' page created in 2012 with valuable resources for senior secondary French students. We often get queries about these listening test items created for the old WACE courses but still extremely useful for the new courses (ie since 2015/16).
    Read more

    • Ideas for teaching
    • WACE Languages Curriculum

  • AISWA scholarships enabled nine teachers of French to undertake professional learning in Lyon and Paris in April 2013. Read more

    • Teacher professional development
    • WACE Languages Curriculum

  • The Leading in Languages Youth Summit brought together teams of students from schools across Western Australia to share their experiences learning Asian languages and to plan related projects in their schools. Read more

    • P-10 Languages Curriculum
    • Promoting Languages

  • At Ocean Forest Lutheran College in Dalyellup, Hilary James, Brooke Gray and Yumiko Schindler faced that perennial problem, How to get kids to practise at home? We have all thought of the obvious answer: get parents to help. But how? The way these dynamic teachers got parents onside has lessons for all language teachers. Read more

    • Promoting Languages

  • Often referred to as SACPacs or SAC-Pacs, Self-Access Centre Packages are organised collections of texts and tasks that are used by students to develop their language skills. Working within guidelines that outline minimum requirements and deadlines, individual students select tasks and determine the sequence of learning activities. Read more

    • Differentiated learning
    • Ideas for teaching

  • Whose opinions matter more to secondary students? Their parents’? Their teachers’? We’d like to think so, but it’s often the opinion of peers that is so influential. That’s why Linden Davis (Peter Moyes Anglican Community School) and Kate Reitzenstein (Scotch College) enlisted former students to tell their stories of studying and getting great jobs using their Indonesian language skills. Read more

    • Promoting Languages

  • Between 2009 and 2011 the Association of Independent Schools of Western Australia (AISWA) selected twelve schools to receive grants from the National Asian Languages and Studies in Schools Project (NALSSP) to trial innovative approaches to learning and teaching Chinese, Indonesian, Japanese and Korean. Read more

    • Promoting Languages
    • Teacher professional development

  • Woodchips aren’t the only wealth that Albany sends to Japan. Great Southern Grammar regularly offers students of Japanese two different educational visits to include in their curriculum.
    Read more

    • Promoting Languages

  • There is a famous Chinese proverb that states "teachers open the door but you must enter by yourself". This is a lovely reminder that as teachers we endeavour to develop our students’ capabilities and inclinations to become independent learners. This can be quite a challenge and Phillipa Nock (Christ Church Grammar School) has risen to that challenge with the help of a NALSSP grant. Read more

    • Differentiated learning
    • Ideas for teaching

  • At St Hilda's Anglican School for Girls, Languages teachers use the interactive whiteboard to encourage active student participation in their learning.
    Read more

    • Ideas for teaching

  • Language teachers and assistants from AISWA and CEOWA schools collaborated to plan, film, edit and share video resources at a recent workshop organised by Cherie Hess, Consultant for Languages from the Catholic Education Office of WA.
    Read more

    • Teacher professional development

  • In November 2012, Tracey Herridge attended the National Symposium for Japanese Education at the University of Melbourne.
    Read more

    • Teacher professional development

  • Get media coverage for your Languages program! Read more

    • Promoting Languages

  • Do you want an effective and simple way to reward your students for continuing with their language studies?

    Read more

    • Promoting Languages

  • At Spirit Of Play Community School in Denmark, Noongar language and culture are woven through all learning activities. Read more

    • P-10 Languages Curriculum
    • Promoting Languages

  • Zapp, Sizzle, Pop, Buzz! The air was electric with creativity, fun and productivity when Joe Dale revisited WA for a series of workshops on using ICT to enhance teaching and learning in the languages classroom. Read more

    • Ideas for teaching
    • Teacher professional development

  • Special correspondent Caroline Winwood reports on a immersion course in France, as part of an AISWA grant. Read more

    • Teacher professional development

  • Parklands Primary School in Albany is bursting with creative energy, especially in its Italian program for young learners. Read more

    • Ideas for teaching

  • “One of the many challenges for languages education in Australia and other English-speaking countries is the impact of the so-called monolingual mindset - where English dominates and demotivates. It feeds in to the way we view the world, ourselves and language education..” Taken from John Hajek’s abstract for his Speech at the AFMLTA Conference 2013
    Read more

    • Promoting Languages
    • Teacher professional development

  • AISWA staff has created two literacy support documents in order to improve AISWA’s consultancy to schools. We hope these two documents offer a coherent message regarding what is meant by literacy, debunk some myths about languages learning and give some simple strategies to support the teaching of literacy. Read more

    • Promoting Languages

  • Near Hall's Creek in Western Australia's Kimberley region, the Yiyili Community, and its Community School are working collaboratively to secure positive language and literacy outcomes in Kriol, in Gooniyandi and in Standard Australian English.
    Read more

    • Differentiated learning
    • Ideas for teaching

  • Community perceptions are key to supporting your languages program. Does your community have access to up-to-date information about language learning today? Read more

    • Promoting Languages

  • As teachers and advocates of language learning, all of us are leaders and all of us can be better leaders. The 2013 cohort of AISWA languages leaders shows how much can be achieved in a short time. Read more

    • Teacher professional development

  • How is successful language learning achieved? Dr Lindy Norris from Murdoch University developed a visual representation of six factors that, her research indicated, enabled successful language learning in a school context in Australia. Read more

    • Building sustainable language programs
    • Promoting Languages

  • We met; we laughed; we learned. What more could anyone ask for? The MLTAWA's first ever Teachmeet was a resounding success. Read more

    • Teacher professional development

  • As she prepared to graduate, Headgirl of St Mary's Anglican Girls' School, Ms Lianne Leung spoke movingly and with humour and insight about life lessons learned from her studies of Italian, Japanese, French and German. Read more

    • Promoting Languages
    • WACE Languages Curriculum

  • Teachers and colleagues in schools, universities and professional organisations acknowledge Claire Leong's influence as a supporter and promoter of language learning. Tributes have arrived at AISWA Languages in many forms, all steeped in praise for Claire's efforts, warmth and grace and with gratitude for the range of programs that she has initiated and supported. Read more

    • Teacher professional development

  • Giselle Fabling (Penrhos College) received funding fram AISWA through the ATP Languages to attend The Japan Foundation (Sydney) Intensive Seminar for Teachers of Middle Year Japanese. Read more

    • Teacher professional development

  • The iPad can provide students with massive amounts of viewing, reading and listening texts so it's a great tool for language learning. Finding the perfect content or exercises, however, can be a challenge. With iBooks Author, teachers can create interactive, multimedia content tailor-made for their students' learning needs. Read more

    • Building sustainable language programs

  • "Create high quality multimedia content for iPad? Who? Me?" Elisabeth Rosinel was doubtful but inspired and willing to try something new. Elisabeth used iBooks Author to create iPad resources for Year 9 students of French. Read more

    • Ideas for teaching

  • At Scotch College, learning a language helps to prepare students for a global community. Read more

    • Promoting Languages

  • It was a scene right out of My Kitchen Rules: Wooden spoons, mixing bowls and pots and pans flying around a kitchen. The only difference was the language that the chefs were using as they took on classic French dishes. Read more

    • Ideas for teaching
    • WACE Languages Curriculum

  • Tranby College has a big sign outside the school that reads “From Little Things Big Things Grow”. Such a message is at the heart of the partnership that the school has developed with SMAN 5 in Surabaya, Indonesia through the federal BRIDGE program. Read more

    • Teacher professional development

  • Maximising engagement in the Languages classroom was the focus for this year’s series of workshops with Nadine Fraize. Former WA French teacher, Nadine now resides in Brittany and is Director of Langues et Terre . Read more

    • Teacher professional development

  • Schools across Western Australia are working hard to develop Asia literacy within their schools. Curriculum Pathways to Asia Literacy, a cross-sectoral workshop, supported by the Asia Education Foundation, was recently held at the Consulate of the Republic of Indonesia in Perth to allow individual schools to design and implement their Asia plan. Read more

    • Teacher professional development

  • Foundation Principal at Immaculate Heart College, Dr Angela Evangelinou-Yiannakis, reflects on the planning and implementation of a Modern Greek language programme at her school. Read more

    • Teacher professional development

  • Eight AISWA schools established partnerships with schools in the Xiacheng District Hangzhou during the 2014 China Study Tour in October. Read more

    • Teacher professional development

  • As an organisational focus for language learning, wayang – or shadow puppetry – provides wonderful opportunities for cross-curricular links with English and the Arts. Indonesian teacher Jeremy Snyder, describes two Year 9 units of inquiry that he designed around the concept of wayang. Read more

    • P-10 Languages Curriculum

  • In the first of a series of Language Learning & Technologies workshops, presenter Penelope Coutas gave a ‘Show and Tell’ of tips and tricks for the classroom, particularly those where ICT access is limited. Read more

    • Ideas for teaching

  • Guest speaker Nadine Fraize was back in 2015 and presented a series of whole day workshops titled “Powerful Ideas for Languages”. One of the highlights of her visit this year was the demonstration of a science lesson in French to participants who were predominantly non-French speakers. Read more

    • Teacher professional development

  • Teachers of the WACE Year 11 courses attended cross sector workshops in November 2014 and collaborated to create valuable resources for students and teachers of Chinese, French, German, Indonesian, Italian and Japanese. Read more

    • Teacher professional development
    • WACE Languages Curriculum

  • AISWA recently held four planning workshops for Year 12 teachers of French, Indonesian, Japanese and Italian (Second Language) to prepare for implementation of Units 3 and 4 in 2016. Participants brainstormed a list of questions linked to the contexts and topics and these have been compiled into question banks which can be downloaded here. Read more

    • Teacher professional development
    • WACE Languages Curriculum

  • In October AISWA held a series of language specific workshops for Arabic, Italian, Modern Greek, Spanish, Japanese, French, Chinese and Indonesian on the Australian Curriculum: Languages and the P-10 Western Australian Curriculum for Languages. More than 90 Languages teachers from AISWA member schools attended. Read more

    • Teacher professional development