Teacher takes plunge
Kaikoura teacher Nicola Chambers is celebrating with her class at St Joseph's School after winning a language immersion trip to Germany.
The year seven and eight teacher is one of 26 teachers across the country awarded the Ministry of Education award, focusing on language immersion, which she will take up next year.
While the final details are still to be confirmed, Mrs Chambers is looking forward to finding out more at an orientation meeting in Wellington later this month.
She has a strong background in languages already, with a post-graduate honours in German language, which involved two years' study at Constance University, Southern Germany. This was made possible through a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
As learning languages is part of the New Zealand school curriculum, the award has been set up to encourage more students to learn a second language, and also to improve teacher capability. It is hoped that Mrs Chambers' class will be able to follow her progress and meet their German peers while she is over there.
Administered by AFS New Zealand, the trip includes one month's study at the Goethe Institute, with a possible two weeks' language pedagogy study in Bremen followed by two weeks of school visits near Munich.
On her return, Mrs Chambers will take on an intensive course of professional development with follow-up support from the Goethe Institute in New Zealand, as well as with language advisers from the Ministry of Education.