MLA Workshop Highlights Pedagogy and Community Connection

The mid-year MLA workshop took place from July 7th to 9th at the University of Auckland campus, focusing on teaching pedagogy, mental health, and community connection. This year’s workshop coincided with the New Zealand Association of Language Teachers (NZALT) conference, providing MLAs with a unique opportunity to gain insights into current trends in second language teaching academia.

Leveraging the conference takeaways, the Confucius Institute (CI) organised roundtable discussions the following day. During these sessions, participants delved into topics such as teaching pedagogy and the key competencies outlined in the New Zealand curriculum. A special emphasis was placed on the pastoral care of this cohort, reflecting CI’s belief that guiding and supporting MLAs mentally can significantly enhance their workplace performance.

MLAs actively engaged in these discussions, sharing both their achievements and the challenges they have faced in their life and work in New Zealand so far. This open dialogue fostered a supportive community among the assistants, strengthening their professional and personal bonds.

To further enhance team-building skills, CI introduced creative activities like a TikTok challenge and The Kaipātiki Project. These initiatives encouraged MLAs to connect not only with each other but also with the wider community. The outcomes of these activities will be showcased on CI’s social media platforms, so stay tuned for their final works.

The workshop underscored the importance of comprehensive support for language assistants, combining professional development with mental health and community engagement to foster a holistic approach to their growth and success.

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