Minister for Education's Immersion Scholarships for Language Teachers

2020
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About the Immersion Scholarships Initiative

The South Australian Government’s ‘Languages in Schools’ initiative contains a suite of measures to reinvigorate the study of languages in schools.

As part of this initiative, the Minister for Education is offering three scholarships to language teachers in South Australia for language immersion experiences within Australia or overseas. One of these three scholarships will be available to teachers in each education sector:

  • One scholarship for a teacher in a Catholic Education School
  • One scholarship for a teacher in a Department for Education School
  • One scholarship for a teacher in an Independent School

The immersion scholarship program for language teachers aims to improve language skills, proficiency, and intercultural understanding. Immersion scholarships are only available for languages that have a curriculum or framework in the Australian Curriculum.

Immersion Scholarships

This scholarship program provides selected language teachers the opportunity to undertake one of two types of in-country study programs:

  • Personal in-country immersion
  • Immersion program within Australia

Teachers may propose their own immersion program focused on improving their language skills and proficiency, and intercultural understanding. Applicants are required to establish a detailed itinerary and budget plan to support their proposed personal in-country immersion program.

Immersion scholarships are only available for languages that have a curriculum or framework in the Australian Curriculum. Depending on applicants, the scholarship program will aim to cover a range of languages in each cycle, including Asian, European and Australian languages.

Please note that travel overseas or within Australia for these scholarships can only occur if permitted within any COVID-19 restrictions in place at the time of travel. Decisions on travel to overseas destinations should be made according to the advice provided on Smartraveller.

Eligibility

To be eligible for the scholarships, applicants must be practicing language teachers who:

  • Hold current registration with the Teachers Registration Board of South Australia
  • Have a direct language teaching role in a school for the academic year that the immersion program takes place
  • Have support from their school principal to participate in the scholarship program
  • Can be declared fit to travel by a medical professional (for an in-country immersion)
  • Are available to participate in the program in 2021.

Teachers are only eligible to apply for one scholarship in each round of applications.

Leaders in positions of assistant principal or above, at the time of undertaking the immersion or short course, are not eligible to apply.

Key Selection Criteria

Applicants are required to describe:

  • Full details of the type of immersion program they are proposing, including location, itinerary, detailed budget and how this opportunity will improve language skills and proficiency, and intercultural understanding.
  • How the language course component, be it in Australia or overseas, will impact on improving their language skills, proficiency and intercultural understanding. Applicants must provide full details of the proposed language course in relation to the overall experience.
  • Their ability to apply the new knowledge and skills gained through their scholarship experience within their teaching practice.
  • How the experience fits into their professional learning plan and what professional learning they propose to offer to others as a result of this learning experience.
  • What immediate and long term impact the Immersion experience will have on student engagement and retention at their site.

Applicant Obligations

Teachers in Independent and Catholic Schools

Successful scholarship recipients from Independent and Catholic schools MUST, where applicable:

  • Regularly check the Smartraveller advice in relation to the proposed country of travel
  • Adhere to their school’s policies, processes and procedures while undertaking the scholarship, particularly any overseas travel procedures and school reimbursement processes.
  • For Department for Education teachers, adhere to all departmental policy, processes and procedures while undertaking the scholarship, particularly the Overseas Travel- Procedure, Overseas Individual Application Package, Overseas Advances and Reimbursements
  • Behave according to the ethos of the Public Sector Code of Ethics (even through not a public servant), while undertaking an in-country immersion program.
  • Complete and submit to Educators SA a completion report outlining what they have done and an evaluation of its impact on their practice and potential impact on student learning.
  • Include a financial reconciliation of the scholarship funds within the final scholarship report.
  • Provide structured feedback on the scholarship experience and outcomes through a formal evaluation process.
  • Commit to continuing to teach languages for two years after receiving the scholarship.
  • Successful applicants will need to negotiate their employment and leave status with their school for the entire duration of the scholarship as per approved itinerary.

 

Teachers in Department for Education Schools

Successful scholarship recipients from Department for Education schools MUST, where applicable:

  • Regularly check the Smartraveller advice in relation to the proposed country of travel
  • Adhere to their school’s or Department’s policies, processes and procedures while undertaking the scholarship, particularly any overseas travel procedures and school reimbursement processes.
  • Behave according to the ethos of the Public Sector Code of Ethics while undertaking an in-country immersion program.
  • Complete and submit to Educators SA a completion report outlining what they have done and an evaluation of its impact on their practice and potential impact on student learning.
  • Include a financial reconciliation of the scholarship funds within the final scholarship report.
  • Provide structured feedback on the scholarship experience and outcomes through a formal evaluation process.
  • Commit to continuing to teach languages for two years after receiving the scholarship.
  • Successful applicants will need to negotiate their employment and leave status with their school and the Department for the entire duration of the scholarship as per approved itinerary.

 

Scholarship values and expenditure rules

Immersion Scholarships within Australia or Overseas

There are three scholarships of up to $8,000 each in 2020 for travel in 2021. The amount approved will be based on the individual’s budget plan. The scholarships will cover the direct cost proposed in the budget plan and may include:

a) Airfares and taxes – bookings MUST be made via a reputable travel agent or website
b) Travel insurance
c) Accommodation
d) In-country language course fees and related resources
e) In-country transport
f) Staff replacement (MUST specify)
g) Meal allowance and incidentals

Scholarship Funding Allocation Models

Immersion

Once scholarships are approved, schools will invoice Educators SA for the total amount of the scholarship. Schools will manage all approved expenses and reimbursements to teachers internally. The schools will provide an acquittal to Educators SA. Any unspent funds must be returned to Educators SA.

Monitoring, Evaluation and Review

  • The evaluation and review will be submitted by the scholarship winner within 60 days upon completion of the immersion program.
  • The monitoring, evaluation and review will be done through the evaluation pack. This pack will be made available in January 2021. Educators SA will be responsible for monitoring the scholarships, evaluation and review, and provide feedback if applicable.

Interested in Applying?

Applications can be made online. Please allow twenty minutes to complete the online application form.

Before applying, applicants must:

  • Read the above information.
  • Prepare responses for the Key Selection Criteria. There will be opportunities to add supporting documentation, such as an itinerary, in word or PDF format.
  • Have a signed Referee Statement from a line manager or principal. This statement must include the applicant’s effectiveness as a teacher of languages, the applicant’s strengths, the applicant’s areas for growth, support for the applicant’s application and participation in the scholarship program, confirmation of the applicant’s current role at the school or other work location, a date and signature.

Applications close on Friday the 18th of September at 5pm.

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