3152. Hon Alison Xamon to the Minister for Education and Training:
I refer to concerns raised by the Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (ASLIA) regarding North Metro TAFE’s Diploma of Interpreting (Auslan) and the semester one 2020 cohort’s extreme lack of satisfaction with their course, and I ask:
(a) has the Minister undertaken any investigation of the concerns about the course raised by ASLIA with North Metro TAFE;
(b) has the Minister spoken with any of the students from this cohort of students from this course regarding their concerns with the preparation this course has provided for their chosen career;
(c) if yes to (a) and (b), could the Minister please explain what North Metro TAFE will be doing to rectify the issues with this course for this and future cohorts; and
(d) if no to (a) or (b), why not?
Hon Sue Ellery replied:
(a) Yes. North Metropolitan TAFE (NMT) was requested to investigate the matters raised.
(c) Not Applicable.
(d) NMT’s Principal Lecturer and English and Languages Portfolio Director met with the Chairperson and Secretary of the Australian Sign Language Interpreters Association (ASLIA) on 19 August 2020 to discuss their concerns in detail, including exploring the specific curriculum requirements of the course as outlined in the national Training Package.
NMT is required to deliver Auslan interpreting courses in accordance with the relevant training package to comply with national training standards. NMT uses the national training package curriculum in the delivery of the Diploma of Interpreting. NMT staff have explained to ASLIA that the training package curriculum is developed for use by all TAFE colleges.
In some instances, the points raised by ASLIA fall outside the scope of what the curriculum requires of Registered Training Organisations to deliver the relevant training package, and this was acknowledged by ASLIA at the meeting. I encourage ASLIA to engage with the training package developer to play a role in shaping future training packages.
NMT regularly surveys Auslan interpreting students in accordance with the English and Languages Quality Plan to gather feedback from students about their learning experience. The feedback from students helps assess the quality of the training provided and identify opportunities for improvement. Student surveys undertaken as part of the quality plan have not identified feedback or concerns similar to those raised by ASLIA.
NMT uses a variety of teaching strategies to provide its students with a range of learning experiences linked to their chosen career pathways as Auslan Interpreters. NMT is committed to the advancement of the Deaf community and the Auslan interpreting industry in Western Australia.
NMT has joined ASLIA, as the national peak body for Auslan interpreting, and is also actively involved with Access Plus WA Deaf (formerly the WA Deaf Society). These important relationships, and others, will enable NMT to develop networks for staff to participate in professional development, conferences and other events. Students may also be linked to potential employers via these networks.