Suzanne joined SCILT as a Professional Development Officer in October 2021. She is a secondary school language teacher with a passion for opening young people’s eyes to the multicultural world around them and the rich life experiences and friendships that learning languages can bring.
After graduating from Heriot-Watt University with an MA (Hons) in Languages Interpreting and Translating, Suzanne worked abroad for several years. While she loved travelling and using her languages professionally, Suzanne ultimately found the time she spent working with young people to be the most rewarding. For this reason, Suzanne returned to Scotland to complete her PGDE in secondary education at the University of Paisley in Ayr.
Suzanne began her teaching career at North Berwick High School, where she worked as a class teacher and then, subsequently, as Principal Teacher of Modern Languages. Suzanne views the modern languages classroom as a window to the world for young people. For that reason, she advocates enthusiastically for global citizenship education as an integral part of language learning. She is committed to making language learning accessible, stimulating and relevant for all young people, focussing on pupil voice to respond to young people’s experiences. She has taught German and French at BGE and SP level, from N3 to AH, in multilevel classes. Suzanne sees multiculturalism as a core element of language learning and participated in the Open University TLT Mandarin course before introducing Mandarin to her school’s BGE language provision alongside French, Spanish and German. She initiated a popular annual S3 DYW Languages Mini-Conference at her school, which has resulted in a steady increase in uptake at all stages of the Senior Phase. Suzanne believes that this is because pupils can see the direct relevance to them of what they learn in the language classroom.
Keen to maintain a picture of the wider languages context, Suzanne worked with primary colleagues to deliver language learning as 1+2 Languages Cluster Lead Teacher and went on to lead language learning as MFL Lead Teacher for East Lothian in the South-East Improvement Collaborative. She also contributed to the development of the TILES project (Toolkit for Improvement in Languages Education) with colleagues from Moray House. These experiences gave Suzanne an insight into language learning at a regional and national level, as well as invaluable opportunities to collaborate with colleagues across different local authorities and share good practice.
Suzanne is excited to have the opportunity to work even more widely with colleagues and partners across Scotland and internationally to enhance young people’s experience of languages, global citizenship and multiculturalism.
98 Ingram Street
University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, G1 1EX