CGS teacher and Head of Senior School Languages Department, Ms Sarah Payne, was recently nominated for and won the inaugural ‘The Patji Dawes Award’. This is an award designed for recognising outstanding achievements in language teaching by an accomplished practitioner in Australia teaching in primary, or senior schools, and universities.
The nominations came from ‘someone who has achieved a very high level of fluency in their chosen language and would like to honour their teacher by setting out what it was about their practice which inspired and enabled them to unlock the rewards of learning another language despite all the difficulties involved’.
Ms Payne was nominated by a previous student, Derek Bailey, who is highly proficient in multiple languages and uses them every day in his employment, which at the time of the nomination, was as an international lawyer in the Hague. Derek was in Ms Payne’s HSC French Continuers class and graduated from CGS in 2009 and has since studied Arabic at University, and also continues to maintain his proficiency in French and German. Derek also received the CGS School colours in 2009 for his achievements in the study of both French and German.
An extract from Derek’s nomination included: ‘This is a gift of an exploring, international mindset through the prism of language. […] Sarah taught me that a fundamental of language learning is that language is a human science which is, at its heart, a means of connecting people. Language is a medium of communication, which allows the free exchange of ideas, but, fundamentally, speaking, listening, reading and writing are skills based on human interaction, and require human interaction for them to be developed. Sarah has been fantastic at creating opportunities for the “human science” elements of language learning to flourish.’
Ms Payne said that she definitely cannot take credit for the high level of proficiency that Derek has managed to achieve during and since his time at CGS, but that she is delighted to know that she has played a role in fostering Derek’s love for language learning.
Congratulations to both Ms Payne and Derek Bailey on their great achievements!