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Background

Sarah was the Head of the Faculty of Languages for four years in an all-boys school before beginning her own business. She is an educational consultant with a passion for classroom teaching and a constant desire to improve and enhance the teaching and learning experience in language classrooms. She enjoys being directly involved with students and teachers and aims to provide practical and useful ideas that teachers can apply immediately and successfully in their lessons.

Previously a secondary teacher of languages, Sarah's main interest lies in how we can more effectively engage students in their language studies. In 2006 she completed a Masters of Education, focusing on the role of the teacher in motivating boys in language learning. Over the past nine years, Sarah has run workshops and presented seminars in the areas of: engaging boys in language learning, vocational Languages, motivating second language learners, behaviour management in LOTE classrooms, developing materials and activities that make the teaching and learning of grammar exciting, planning for language teaching, producing resources for LOTE classrooms, the use of authentic resources, designing VCE assessment tasks, inquiry teaching and learning, assessment, backward design curriculum planning.

Over the years, Sarah has taught French, Indonesian and ESL to students right through from 3 years of age to adults. As a secondary LOTE teacher, Sarah has worked with students from Year 7 through to Year 12, teaching mainly French, and has been involved in both oral and written examinations for French VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education). For the last two years, Sarah has been based in Jakarta, Indonesia, where she has been working in the area of Assessment, Inquiry Teaching and Learning and EAL in mainstream classrooms.

Sarah’s general areas of interest are: differentiation, inquiry teaching and learning, curriculum planning, boys’ education, vocational language learning, behaviour management, motivation, teacher-student rapport, development of content-based language resources, partial-immersion language teaching. The simple resources available through the Happy Teacher website provide opportunities for tactile and kinaesthetic activities, encouraging touch and movement while learning. This emphasis comes from Sarah’s experience in teaching and is based on research indicating that the more actively (and physically) students participate in the learning process, the more effectively they acquire, and retain, new language.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Arts (double major French & Indonesian, minor German) – University of Western Australia
  • Diploma of Education (LOTE & TESOL) – University of Melbourne
  • Graduate Certificate in Bilingual/Immersion Education - Monash University
  • Certificate IV in Workplace Training & Assessment (Vocational Education & Training)
  • Diploma of Spanish as a Second Language (Intermediate Level) – Instituto Cervantes, Madrid
  • Masters of Education (the role of the teacher in motivating boys in language learning) – Monash University (Dean’s Award for Excellence in a Master’s Thesis, 2006)