Languages network gets teachers talking

Liberty Campbell is the Project Officer for Languages in the diocesan school system in Broken Bay.

Liberty works across the 44 primary and high schools that form the Broken Bay Diocese, putting language teachers in touch with each other.

She fulfils this role one day a week, whilst also working as a Japanese teacher at St Paul’s Catholic College, Manly.

This new role for Liberty coincided with the start of a BOSTES languages advisory panel, which aims to improve language delivery in NSW. Liberty is the Catholic sector representative to BOSTES on this panel.

Teachers are more talented and capable than they realise and with strong networking they can achieve so much more.

Liberty said there is a push to strengthen language teaching at the primary and secondary level, and her role is to facilitate networking between secondary and primary teachers.

“This is such an important role because in the past primary language teachers in particular, have been quite isolated,” Liberty said.

“Primary teachers are usually the only language teacher in the school, so they lack the support of a faculty with whom they could share problems or discuss issues.”

The role of Project Officer provides a central contact for the teachers to connect.

“Teachers are more talented and capable than they realise at times and with strong networking they can achieve so much more.”

An example of this is the recent sushi day at St Mary’s Catholic Primary School, Manly, that was supported by students from St Paul’s Catholic College.

Liberty said it was a beneficial experience for both schools and enabled the Year 9 students of Japanese to act as role models to their primary peers.

Another example of teacher empowerment is Liberty’s decision to write her own Japanese textbook series called Jblog. This series reflects the input of students and teachers and aims to be more relevant to students with its emphasis on current images and interesting cultural details.

She also urged language teachers to join their professional associations, such as the Modern Languages Teachers Association, to make contact with their colleagues and share ideas.

Liberty is optimistic that the new push on languages will be a success in NSW.

For more on the Jblog textbooks see or Facebook page is

Sue Osborne