I have just returned home after a very exciting meeting and half an hour later, I am still grinning like a Cheshire Cat. I am on such a high that I want to share it with you!!
Last Friday, Annie added our 3 names to the invitation list of the Country Cabinet State Government visit to the Fleurieu.
The aim of the Country Cabinet visits is to provide regional residents with a community forum so they can speak directly to the premier and his ministers about issues directly relevant to their region. We were thrilled that this would provide us with an opportunity to speak with the SA education minister, Susan Close.
Last year we heard her speak at the MLTASA conference about the importance of language learning. All the language teachers were delighted to discover that we had such a powerful ally in our state government.
During our car trip home after the conference, we decided that it was a priority to speak directly to the minister about TPRS but could not find a time that suited us all. It was a gift to hear that she was visiting our region and schools this week.
Tonight the 3 of us joined the throng at the Victor Rec Centre enjoying a BBQ dinner cooked by the brilliant Lions Club. It was lovely seeing such a huge cross section of people representing the Fleurieu. We caught up with friends while munching on sausage sandwiches (or in my case, a veggie patty) while waiting for the cabinet to arrive.
We had deliberately chosen seats at the back of the room to give us an excellent vantage point from which to peruse all who entered. Annie immediately spotted Susan Close as she arrived. We allowed her time to grab a sausage sandwich before making a beeline for her and totally monopolising her until she had to make her way to the front.
Susan was very gracious and listened intently to us as we explained to her about TPRS and all that we have achieved down here on the Fleurieu for language teachers. She asked many questions (when she could get a word in!) and was delighted to hear that she will get the opportunity to observe TPRS in the classroom tomorrow during her school visit.
It was so exciting to have the opportunity to speak directly to the minister of education about TPRS, a largely unfamiliar methodology in Australia, that has the potential to reverse the decreasing numbers of students choosing to study languages across secondary and tertiary sectors in Australia. We took great delight in sharing Ian Perry’s amazing 2016 student retention numbers as evidence of this!!
Let’s hope our chat and the brief observation opportunity tomorrow will tweak her curiosity enough to investigate TPRS further. It would be awesome to have her support!!