Inah Matsuoka-Yi and Tazin Abdullah, Macquarie University English Language Centre
Supporting student wellbeing: what can teachers do?

Student well-being is a significant aspect of the student experience in the ELICOS sector. The well-being of individual students can impact both academic success and the overall experience of living in Australia. When teachers and advisors within a language learning environment take a collaborative approach to dealing with student issues, the student is assured that their needs are being adequately considered. Further, if teachers have a holistic perspective of the student, it ensures that the best interests of the student are looked after.

This session aims to provide classroom teachers with an insight into common student perspectives of the teacher, the classroom experience, and expectations of life in Australia. As the interaction between teachers and students is imperative in recognising and raising any concerns, this session will explain how a collaborative approach with Student Advisors can support the student. As Student Advisors ourselves, it is our belief that providing teachers with the perspective of advisors who speak to students regarding wellbeing can be very useful in recognising how students can be supported. To this end, we will also propose strategies and language to use when having difficult conversations with students.

Attendees of this session will have plenty of opportunities to put these suggestions into practice, and discuss and reflect on how they can apply these ideas to their own students and classrooms.

Tazin Abdullah and Inah Matsuoka-Yi both work as Student Advisors at the Macquarie University English Language Centre (ELC).

Tazin has been a Student Advisor for four years and prior to that, worked as an ELT at the ELC and other institutions. She has an Honours in Media and Cultural Studies, CELTA and a Diploma in Workplace and Business Coaching.

Inah has two roles at the ELC as she also works as an ELT. She teaches on a range of programs from General English to Direct Entry. She has completed a Bachelor of Social Work and a Graduate Certificate in TESOL.