Session details

(Subject to change without notice)

A1 Communicating with Clarity and Confidence

Anne Hairsine, ESL Portfolio at North Metropolitan TAFE

Many people believe that if you can speak English you can teach oral communication. However, most languages have between 8 -12 vowels or diphthongs, whilst English has 22. And then there’s the consonants! So, most students must learn to recognise and produce quite a few new sounds not in their first language.
For most of our students, distinguishing between and producing the different sounds found in the following group – heat, hit, hat, heart, hot, hoot, hut, hurt, height, hate – can be a challenge.
Anne would like to share with you a practical system developed by her and her team, which really helps the students to understand and master the mechanics of the new sounds. The students can then become independent learners, and their continued improvement rests in their hands, through practice. This eventually leads to the student’s ability to communicate with clarity and confidence.

Anne Hairsine, Bachelor of Education in English, Speech and Drama, University of Tasmania; Graduate Diploma in Media, Australian Film, Television and Radio School, Sydney; Associate in Speech and Drama, Trinity College, London.
For most of her working life Anne has been deeply involved in all aspects of communication. A former Speech and Drama Specialist and Director, Anne has been instrumental in planning and implementing Oral Communication Courses in ESL at North West TAFE.

CANCELLED A2 ‘Tooning in’ to learning!

Jo Hart, Synsols


A3 Blackboard organisation

Helene Markmann, North Metropolitan TAFE

An effective Blackboard page helps engage students and allow them to learn and practise in their own time, at their own pace from anywhere. It also allows you to make learners accountable for their own learning. This hands on session will look at effective ways to set up your class Blackboard page and add resources and links for your students to access. This class is only suitable for participants who have access to Blackboard or who are willing to audit the session.

Helene Markmann currently lectures at North Metropolitan TAFE and has experience teaching and consulting for the Department of Education and Curtin and Edith Cowan Universities.

A4 Read Write Now: What’s in it for me?

Susan Whitford, Read Write Now

Read Write Now can do more for your students, than directly for you. But you might be surprised by what we can offer teachers! Read Write Now helps over 600 adults across WA with literacy, numeracy, computer skills – and their coursework if they are studying. Adult students at TAFEs, RTOs and SEE Programs can have FREE weekly tutoring, individually focused on their specifically diagnosed needs. In exchange for tutoring, volunteer tutors get 32 hrs highly practical training on teaching strategies, plus 2 free high-quality PD Days per year and access to valuable online resources.

Susan is Literacy Training Officer for Read Write Now. Although she has taught for many years, only the most recent ten years have been in the LLN field – split almost equally between the LLNP/SEE Program and Perth TAFEs.

A5 Numeracy – Ideas, strategies and resources

Paula McMahon, Mathematical Association of WA

This session will give you a chance to explore some of the ideas, strategies, resources and hands on activities that are available to increase engagement with numeracy. Attendees will leave with detailed handouts and suggestions for where to purchase hands on equipment or software.

Paula is an experienced secondary teacher who has worked for many years with disengaged students. In 2017 she was appointed The Numeracy Coordinator at her school. In this role she has been given time to engage teachers from all learning areas in the explicit teaching of numeracy.

B3 Mobile Technologies in Teaching

Claire Yates, North Metropolitan TAFE

The Mobile phone has become a ‘can’t do without it’ accessory in our lives. This piece of technology is an ingenious hand held computer, yet we ban it in our classrooms. Learn how to instruct and empower your learners to use their mobile technology effectively as an educational tool. Are you interested in focussing on literacy, language, study skills, organisational skills, interpersonal skills and student confidence? This is your passport, and all your students have one. You will no longer think of this hand held device as a nuisance interrupting your lesson, instead it will be a powerful teaching and learning tool in expert hands.

As an avid user of mobile technologies I have been incorporating the mobile phone into my teaching since my career in Education began in 1995. I have taught multiple training packages across multiple portfolios at TAFE, lately focussing on delivering flexibly in the workplace. Over my entire teaching history I have taught students ranging from 15 year old disengaged youth to 85 year old ESL learners. Situations ranging from a group of women in a tin shed in an industrial area, to a board room of Aged Care trainers in an office in West Perth. With such a wide range of situations & cohorts, and often limited resources at my disposal, I have developed a ‘teach anywhere with anything’ style which not only assists Educators in similar situations, but also enhances delivery in standard training environments.

B4 Financial Literacy

Deane Gilmour, Department of Justice

It has been said that there are two skills concerning money. The first is, ‘How to make it?’ The second is, ‘How to invest it?’ Each of these areas requires a wide range of diverse skills. Some observers argue that our current education curricula must include more relevant real-life skills training, in preparing students to handle that financial income for which they will exchange a substantial part of their lives.
Initially, basic subjects like banking, credit cards, credit checks, car purchase, house purchase, insurance, tax and Superannuation could be included. These could be followed by subjects such as business structures, shareholder agreements, business models, cash flows, simple financial statements, management styles, employees and customers. Lifestyle choices, shares, bonds and property investment could be incorporated in later classes.

Deane Gilmour is a fairly recent migrant to Australia and a recent entrant to the teaching profession. He has taught mainly in the correctional education system and maintains a financial business while teaching. He has a background in Merchant banking and has run many different businesses, several unsuccessfully, from which the most valuable lessons were learnt. He has served as a special forces officer and flown his own plane for many years. Now, in later years, Deane has found teaching to be one of the most rewarding occupations, after that of being a father.

C1 MS Word Hacks – tips and tricks to be more efficient and make stylish documents

Helene Markmann, North Metropolitan TAFE

This two hour hands on session will cover useful everyday functions and shortcuts as well as layout and formatting to make documents easy to read, consistent and professional. You will need to bring your own laptop or tablet with Microsoft Word preloaded.

Helene Markmann currently lectures at North Metropolitan TAFE and has experience teaching and consulting for the Department of Education and Curtin and Edith Cowan Universities.

C2 Towards Problem Solving

Chris Hodson, North Metropolitan TAFE

Often, maths is presented as sums and calculations. However in everyday life, maths is hidden in the problems we solve. This session will explore the idea of mathematical problem solving. It will explore ways to empower students to find the numbers in a problem as an aid to solving that problem.


  • Numbers everywhere
  • The bar method
  • Asking questions
  • Clarifying
  • Which operation?
  • What do I know?
  • Solving the problem

Chris Hodson started as a lecturer with General Education in 2009. Specialising in IT and numeracy, Chris has worked with a wide variety of students at North Metropolitan TAFE. Chris has a keen interest in numeracy and has developed many strategies to improve the effectiveness of numeracy education within General Education. Chris operates as a mentor for other staff and has been involved in organising numeracy focused professional development within the college.

C3 Quick Easy Teaching Tools

Yvette Terpstra, Centacare Education and Training

An overview of simple teaching and learning activities to encourage group participation, confidence and engagement in learning.

When teaching students who are remote from mainstream education there are often barriers that need to be overcome before learning can occur. It may be may be anxieties from past experiences with education, poor physical and/or mental health , poverty, educational disadvantage, learning difficulties and complicated lives.

The session will be a combination of hands on trials of activities, changing up existing activities to suit cohort and brainstorming new ways to use demonstrated activities. All techniques and activities have been trailed and are fun and engaging for most students. They seem to work because they are quick, can cover both literacy and numeracy, great for revision, boost confidence, teach turn taking and communication skills and often require little writing.

These teaching tools are primarily designed for English speaking clients but can be adapted to ESL class rooms. None of the ideas are new but being reminded of the simple things can often re energise our class rooms and fill in those dead 20 minutes when everyone is a little tired and unmotivated.

Yvette has been a teacher at Centacare for the past five years, working with a range of students including an Indigenous Adult Class (Kadadjini Bidi), Youth at risk classes (Stepping Stones PCYC and StepZone, Altone Youth Services). Prior to that, she had the pleasure of working at Yirrkala Community School in Arnhem Land, a bilingual Indigenous school. She worked with the senior school across all disciplines with the added blessing of being mentored by Aboriginal teaching staff during my time there. YvetteI learned the power of story telling, connections with family, country and community and two way learning.

C4 Engaging the disengaged through project work

Rebecca Bull, North Metropolitan TAFE

The innovative Launch Pad program is youth centred and project based and has been running at North Metropolitan TAFE for the last 9 years with much success. The project based approach provides young learners (15-17 years) with a space to re-engage and take responsibility for their own learning journey while improving their employability and life skills in a real-life context. They gain confidence in their communication, team work, self-management, problem solving, planning and organising skills. Let’s have a conversation about this approach, explore the students’ past projects and the resources used to hook the students in and keep them engaged.

Rebecca Bull is the Youth Programs Coordinator and an Advanced Skills Lecturer at North Metropolitan TAFE Perth, Western Australia. Through her role Rebecca aims to lead and implement innovative approaches to teaching and learning which ensures positive experiences and success for students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Rebecca is both a qualified teacher and counsellor and it is her experience in these areas combined that allow her to foster co-operation and build trust in the classroom. Rebecca’s experience working in International Schools in Asia also enables her to engage learners from a diverse range of backgrounds and learning needs.

D4 Working With Biscriptal English Learners

Pauline Bunce, Cyril Jackson Senior Campus

‘Today’s English language classrooms are increasingly being filled by learners who have come from countries that use a different writing system, e.g. China, Japan, Thailand, Burma, Iran, Ethiopia, Syria and India.’
Learning a new written script is challenging on many levels. Biscriptal learners often experience a kind of ‘dissonance’ as they come to grips with the different principles that underlie the English alphabetic script.
‘Many literate, biscriptal learners will need a longer, more explicit introduction to the operational basics of an alphabetic written code, including the sequential formation of letters, the phonemic sound system and the various ways in which English words are constructed.’
This session will combine a presentation and some practical activities that have been designed to increase English teachers’ awareness of the three-way needs of biscriptal learners: handwriting, sounds and morphology.

Pauline has taught in remote, rural and urban secondary schools in Australia. She has also taught in Malaysia, Brunei, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong. She is currently working in the Intensive English Centre at Cyril Jackson Senior Campus. Her doctoral research, entitled ‘Alphabet Headaches’, studied the biscriptal challenges faced by adolescent Chinese learners of English in Hong Kong. Since returning to Australia in 2010, Pauline has presented widely on the specific needs of English learners whose first languages are written in non-alphabetic scripts.