Jess’s first masters degree, a Master of Teaching (Early Childhood), led her to a job teaching at a Melbourne kindergarten, where she began running a newly launched bilingual program. “This experience sparked my interest in language education,” Jess said. She decided to undertake her second masters degree, a Master of Modern Languages Education, studying part-time while continuing to work full-time.
Even though she already had work experience, Jess still valued the opportunity to complete a professional placement as part of the Master of Modern Languages Education, considering it a highlight of the program. “The professional placement helped me to develop my skills and implement what I learned from the course in an authentic classroom setting.”
One of Jess’s favourite subjects was Second Language Teaching Methodology. “Since English is not my first language, I used to feel less confident,” Jess admitted, “but after taking this course, I’m proud of being multilingual and happy to share my language knowledge with younger generations. I enjoyed designing language lessons and units and incorporating my creativity into them.”
Jess’s driving inspiration was a desire to effect change and influence the language learning experience of the next generation. “I would like to help younger generations understand our plurilingual society, encourage them to learn a different language, and help them appreciate their home languages,” Jess said.
She also wanted to use what she’d learned to help other language teachers reach an audience of young children. “I hope to become a mentor for language teachers, and to support teachers of Languages Other than English (LOTE) in Australia, particularly in the area of early years language education,” Jess said.
In the future, Jess hoped more Australians would be interested in early childhood language learning. “I would like to see early years language education become more widespread in Australia, supporting the next generation to learn different languages at a young age.”
“I encourage language teachers, or anyone interested in language teaching, to apply for this program,” Jess concluded. “The program provides students with an opportunity to understand a wide range of language teaching methodologies, which can be applied in different areas of language education. By broadening our knowledge, we can be more creative in our teaching approaches, and better understand the complexities of our plurilingual society.”