Camila Portela
New South Wales

Employer: Navaitas English

Camilla has taught Language, Literacy and Numeracy for five years. She is employed by Navitas English to teach a range of government-funded language programs including the Adult Migrant English Program, Skills for Education and Employment program, and Foundation Skills for your Future program.

Camilla teaches both adult and youth aged students. Many of Camilla’s students came to Australia as migrants or refugees, mostly from war-torn countries, including Iraq, Syria and Afghanistan. These students begin programs with varying levels of prior learning or formal schooling. Due to their disrupted education many of these students had behavioural, learning and attentional difficulties.

Camilla’s teaching programs focus around keeping students invested in learning activities by channelling their interests and establishing formative tasks to help them achieve their learning goals. To support this objective, Camilla has created new learning resources for Navitas English. One of her creative initiatives includes the creation of an audible dictionary that students may use to help them learn new words and letters outside of their class time. She has also devised a system for surveying students before the commencement of courses to understand their learning styles and goals and tailor programs accordingly. Camilla incorporates musical, interpersonal and kinaesthetic approaches to engage younger students, and utilises online communication channels to assist and provide feedback to students daily to ensure they remain engaged in courses.

Camilla also shares her knowledge with future teachers, mentoring students in TESOL Practicum programs at a number of universities. Her contribution to education helps students to see themselves as productive and capable individuals who belong to the broader Australian community.