Kangan Institute is in the running to be named Australia’s top large training provider, while an innovative English teacher who works with refugees and migrants is a finalist in her field.
Kangan Institute progressed to the 2022 Australian Training Awards final after clinching the Victorian prize earlier this year. The awards recognise and celebrate outstanding achievements in the vocational education and training sector.
Susan Shaw, who has been with Kangan Institute for a decade, has been shortlisted for the Excellence in Language, Literacy and Numeracy Practice Award.
Ms Shaw teaches English as a second language, coordinates and oversees online English courses, and has built strong community links to help her students gain confidence in job-seeking. Ms Shaw is also part of a new national ‘Pronunciation Task Force’ program which is developing best practice techniques for teaching pronunciation.
The first in her family to attend university, Ms Shaw completed her Master of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages to add quality to the learning lives of the often-disadvantaged students she teaches.
During her time at Kangan Institute and particularly during the pandemic, Ms Shaw has developed a passion for online resources, including adding writing and grammar courses for workers wanting to improve their written communication.
“Traditional classrooms always have an important place in language and literacy, but I believe online learning is a way to level the playing field for all learners, making information and education accessible to all,” she says.
Among other innovations, Ms Shaw has
· started dedicated Youth Classes after recognising that cultural attitudes sometimes made young people very reserved around older students
· completed a Mental Health First Aid course to support students with traumatic backgrounds, and
· initiated a popular end-of-year celebration involving teachers and students.
Ms Shaw is thrilled to see that nearly 100% of Certificate IV in Spoken and Written English students successfully complete the course, with most progressing to further studies.
“It is also very rewarding to see former students returning to Kangan Institute as professionals in the capacity of community workers, interpreters and youth workers to help our current students,” she says.
Kangan Institute CEO Sally Curtain said being shortlisted for the national awards highlighted the organisation’s commitment and dedication to students, industry, and community.
“This is great recognition of all the hard work of our people in making a real difference in the lives of thousands of students, that choose to study with us each year.
“Our mission is to empower people, our community and industry with the skills to make a bright future, something I am proud to say our teacher Susan Shaw embodies,” Ms Curtain said.
Results will be announced at the 2022 Australian Training Awards in Adelaide on 18 November 2022.