OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO SCHOOL COMMUNITY
Alice Pan-Moreau knows what it is like to move to Australia and not have English as a first language.
She also knows what it is like to live in different countries across the globe.
The John Paul College (JPC) teacher has used her experience to empower not only students who come from different multicultural backgrounds, but also her entire College community to use linguistic diversity to boost educational outcomes and inclusivity.
Alice, who teaches Year 2 and moved to Australia from Taiwan when she was six years old, was certified by Independent Schools Queensland last year as a Highly Accomplished Teacher, partly because of her work setting up the Mother Tonge Club (MTC).
The extent of Alice’s work to grow appreciation for other cultures and better help students who speak English as an Additional Language and/or Dialect (EAL/D) has been enormous.
When she arrived at JPC Alice first evaluated the College’s foreign languages library books and found that students were not using them. That was despite JPC having pupils from more than 40 countries.
This sparked Alice to design new book labels which included the flags of countries that converse in the language, and to include translations of the language. Alice then worked with the Primary Teacher Librarian to build the library’s selection of foreign language books and divide them into different languages, allowing students, their families and teachers easier access to the books most relevant to them.
Alice joined the JPC Language Committee to play an active role in revising the school’s Language Policy, and she set up the MTC.
The club invites primary and secondary students, parents and community members to a once-a-month gathering, which is often linked to a specific cultural celebration and is dedicated to one culture.
JPC Dean of Pedagogy Kara Ilich says Alice has shared her knowledge of EAL/D learning strategies, and flexible student learning contracts, with colleagues and preservice teachers to improve their practice.
“Alice has provided professional development opportunities for teachers in the areas of Mother Tongue and strategies to support EAL/D students. She surveyed teachers to ascertain the impact of teaching strategies for supporting EAL/D students,” Kara says.
Alice, who has also taught in China, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates, is known for being generous with her time, seeking opportunities to mentor and support her colleagues, and for building strong relationships with a wide array of cultural communities through the MTC.
She is currently working on creating parent workshops for parents who speak Mandarin.
“In summary, Alice’s initiative and dedication towards her classroom practice and passion for supporting EAL/D students have widely impacted on teachers’ classroom practice, and as a result, our students,” Kara says.
“The impact Alice has made on our school community is a credit to her collaborative approach towards the planning and implementation of the Mother Tongue Club,” the Dean of Pedagogy says.
“Teachers have reported an increase in awareness of our EAL/D learners and feel more confident in implementing strategies that enable them to achieve success.”
JPC Principal Karen Spiller says Alice is “a remarkable classroom teacher”.
“Alice is a one-of-a-kind teacher. Her ability to build rapport with students, parents and staff is second to none,” the Principal says.
“Alice demonstrates remarkable inclusivity in ensuring that all ‘tongues’ and cultures are respected and valued.”
Congratulations Alice on being shortlisted for a TEACHX Outstanding Contribution to School Community Award.