Distinguished Awards Recognise Chinese Teacher's Success with Students

Latest News Thursday, 14 Oct 2021


St James College English and Chinese teacher Ms Ariel Hsu-Chia Chen has been named a 2021 Finalist in the annual Queensland College of Teachers TEACHX Awards for the TUH Health Fund Dr Roger Hunter OAM Excellence in Beginning to Teach Category.

The awards commenced in 2009 and celebrate the outstanding contributions of teachers in Queensland. This year 221 nominations from teachers who have achieved exceptional outcomes were received.

Teacher nominees are invited to share their student and classroom stories to inspire colleagues because they exemplify the significant contribution to schools and early childhood communities.

Driven by her desire to ‘to provide equity and quality learning to young people and make a difference in their lives’ Ms Chen said there is no better fit for her than teaching.

With 62 per cent of students speaking English as an additional language, from over 50 different cultural backgrounds, and with a significant number of students having learning challenges, Ms Chen’s results have been very impressive.

This year, a group of Ms Chen’s Year 8 students won third place in the Queensland Chinese Speaking Competition, and 40% of her classroom are consistently achieving A’s in the subject.  

When asked about the secret of her success with students, Ms Chen shared: “In my classroom, we speak Chinese 90% of the time. What’s the secret? The secret is I use ‘stories to engage students.”

“The context of a ‘story’ provides a natural, low-anxiety environment for students to interact in a foreign language without them even realising they are speaking Chinese!”

Ms Chen’s TEACHX Finalist Profile describes how she teaches students using the TPRS (Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling). 

Principal at St James College Ms Ann Rebgetz shared her delight at Ms Chen reaching the finalist stage of the awards process.

“It is my pleasure to announce an outstanding achievement - congratulations to Ariel Chen being named as a State Finalist in the QCT Awards!”

“Ariel’s professional approach, her ability to engage all of her students, her focus on outcomes and incredible achievement of high standards has been recognised.”

Further Ms Rebgetz recognised the accomplishment of another St James College early career teacher, Ms Hannah White, who was also shortlisted for consideration as a finalist due to her outstanding teaching practice.

TeachX Award winners will be announced on the eve of World Teachers’ Day in Queensland on Thursday 28 October at the Awards virtual presentation ceremony commencing at 4.00pm