Members’ Voices

Why is ATESOL ACT important to you?

We asked some ATESOL ACT members to write something about their experience with our association.

Here’s what they had to say…

I first joined ATESOL ACT around eight years ago, when I moved to Canberra and started teaching Kindergarten in the Introductory English Centre at Hughes Primary School. The mainstream Kindergarten teacher in the class next door encouraged me to join.

One early ATESOL ACT event stands out for me as inspirational. The guest speaker was a public high school principal from the south west of Sydney. She was a passionate advocate for EALD students and spoke with equal concern about the needs students from refugee backgrounds with uncertain legal status in Australia and the toll that took on their mental health, alongside the needs of gifted students, unable to afford the costs of attending university.

This principal recognised many hardships faced and determined to make a difference (my words). She organised a trust to assist a number of students and I recall being very impressed with her successes.

Over the years I have attended numerous ATESOL ACT Professional Development courses, from fascinating workshops on pronunciation and grammar, to the most recent session highlighting the various systems influencing English spelling. As a mainstream teacher at North Ainslie Primary School, I always find ATESOL ACT courses to be of a high standard and useful in terms of my professional practice. I also appreciate that it takes hard work and dedication from the committee to organise a range of speakers, publications and events each year. So thanks ATESOL ACT Committee.  Your efforts are appreciated and valued.


Megan Mears – Teacher, North Ainslie Primary School

I attended my first ATESOL PD in 2011.  It was Lesley Ciocarelli’s session on social media and ESL professional development.  I was intrigued by how Facebook and Twitter could be relevant to ESL teaching as I has always regarded them as time wasters and quite irrelevant!  

Lesley opened a window to a whole new world of possibilities and although I don’t profess to actively using Facebook or Twitter for PD, at least I know it is there!  This year I attended the session on iPads in the classroom and found this equally enlightening and very exciting.

Technology will continue to change the way we teach English and deliver lessons and I think ATESOL has a key role to play in keeping ESL teachers up to date with this rapidly changing technology.


Jo – AMEP Teacher at Canberra Institute of Technology

Speaking on behalf of everyone at the SIEC, Chris Kain, from the Secondary Introductory English Centre (SIEC), said that all of the PD offered by ATESOL ACT has been excellent and very useful.

Chris herself joined ATESOL about four years ago and remembers wishing that she had joined up much earlier.  Many of Chris’ colleagues have been members for a long time and they all joined her in saying that there have been many very useful PD sessions. They wanted to add a big thank you to the people in ATESOL ACT who take time to organise these events that everyone benefits from so much.


Chris Kain and Colleagues – Secondary Introductory English Centre

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