6th Annual State Conference and Professional Development Training Day for NSW Community Language Schools
On Saturday the 5th of October 2013, the NSW Federation of Community Language Schools (NSWFCLS) organised and hosted the 6th Annual State Conference and Professional Development Training Day for Community Language Schools at the University of Sydney.
Czech and Slovak School of Sydney had the privilege to join over 400 delegates representing 44 language groups from 116 schools / organisations.
The Federation’s Children’s Choir welcomed us all by their lovely singing performance. I am proud to say that one of our students Natalia Benc was amongst these talented singers.
The official opening introduced a number of speakers. For instance, the Hon. Marie Ficarra MLC, Parliamentary Secretary to the Premier representing the NSW Government. She took the opportunity to reiterate the ongoing support of the State Government for the good work of community language schools, whilst the Shadow Minister of Education – Ms Carmel Tebbutt MP, highlighted the successes of the previous government in its support of the community language schools sector of NSW.
The keynote speaker Dr Liam Morgan associate Professor, Senior lecturer at the UTS presented the issue of the falling number of students who complete their studies of language up to HSC level. Dr Morgan stressed the significant importance to maintain the home language and the key role parents play in this process.
The enjoyable performance by two students from the Matraville Turkish School ended the official part of the conference. This official part was followed by a number of workshops. To be more precise, a total of 40 workshops with 21 presenters were available to attendees.
In conclusion, as noted by the President of the NSW Federation of Community Language Schools Albert Vella, this was the most successful event organised by the NSWFCLS. I cannot agree more, everything was professionally organised and the whole day ran smoothly. We could choose from a number of interesting workshops that gave us not only the opportunity to find out more about the important skills in teaching methodologies, but also informed the management of the school about important issues. Above all, the conference gave us a feeling of belonging whilst meeting other representatives from different schools.
Furthermore as mentioned in the media release, the conference enabled the communities to gather and raise their concerns to the special guests present such as access to the internet and interactive whiteboards, network amongst similar community language school organisations and importantly to improve their services to the families and students who attend these schools.
Finally, on behalf of the Czech and Slovak School of Sydney I would like to say a big thank you to the NSW Federation of Community language Schools (the President Albert Vella, the dedicated staff and the volunteers) for organising this conference, along with the co-operation and assistance given by the University of Sydney.
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