Impact of reforms on VSL

Curriculum and Standards Framework (CSF) for Languages Other Than English (LOTE)  Impact of the VCE and CSF reform on VSL .

Parallel to the VCE reform inaugurated with VISE Group 2 subjects and the following review process, a great deal of re-thinking went into pre-VCE primary and secondary school levels 1 to 10. Some of the discussion regarding effective teaching and assessment practices was conducted Australia wide.
 
As a result the Victorian School of Languages (VSL) undertook major changes in its approach to language curriculum. This included implementing a common standard and approach to teaching across all languages and centres.

The task was undertaken by Gil Freeman, the Principal appointed to head the school in 1990. An innovative educator with interest in LOTE curriculum issues, he began gathering around him a talented staff of Area Managers, Senior Teachers and language teachers in the state school system. Some, like Aleksandra Ceferin had been LOTE Consultants, VCE Course Developers and Curriculum Coordinators. Others had been Supervisors, VSL Centre Administrators, Curriculum and Language Coordinators. A number had a specific ethnic background. For all, this was an exciting period, during which the school was at the leading edge in the teaching of LOTE in the state of Victoria.
 
Professional development of teachers became an issue of primary importance. VSL languages normally taught within the Victorian school system had a sufficient number of qualified teachers. Languages new to Australia had some teachers qualified in their own country. When these were not available well-educated individuals were appointed to teach the classes.
 
Teachers qualified in a different country often taught in a traditional way. Some did not have much English and it was difficult to integrate them into the system. As a whole, the system operated well, despite the many language groups and dispersal throughout twenty-eight centres. The backbone was of course the Centre itself, and the fact that each language group integrated and linked the students, the parents and the teachers with a common language and cultural background as a bond.

With the advent of the new VCE curriculum and assessment requirements, teachers of different backgrounds had to be brought more closely into the Australian educational system. Under the leadership of Gil Freeman, ably assisted by Curriculum Assistant Principal Elizabeth Kleinhenz and the Area Managers, a systematic and intensive approach to professional development of teaching staff was undertaken. It was to bring them into the latest and best common teaching and assessment practices of the Victorian education system.


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