Having previously worked in archives and libraries, Jason Hughes came to teaching later than most, but he makes up for it with the life experience he brings to his work at UOW College.
Not only is Jason a tutor in both the English Language and Academic programs at the College, but he also works in the Faculty of Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Wollongong.
“I have experience at the university as well as the College so I can see both sides of what students need to succeed,” he said.
“I can see what they need to do to get into a university program as well what they need to do to succeed when they are there.”
Jason started work at the College in January 2015 and at the UOW main campus in February 2012 where he tutors in Linguistics and Spanish language studies.
He brings to the College not just his academic qualifications but other life experiences that he believes help him connect to the students – both domestic and international – with whom he works.
His career has encompassed teaching in Australia as well as four years as an English language teacher and tutor in the Education Faculty at the Universidad de Piura in Peru.
“I felt that I could transfer the kind of work I was doing in South America back to Australia,” he said.
Which is exactly what his work in the ELICOS (English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students) program allows him to do.
“In the ELICOS program I am working with foreign language students. It is the direct entry English language program for international students,” he said.
“The best thing about working with these students at the College is that I get to prepare them in the context of how to be successful students before they enter mainstream university,” he said.
“This also includes working with domestic students in the Academic program of the College where we are looking at things like writing skills, how to do research, how to access knowledge fromthe university and how to apply that in an academic literacy context.
“With the international students, I support them in that transitionary process so they can more confidently engage with other students, and get more out of their time at the university.
“After my time in Latin America, I understand intercultural and bilingual adaptability.”
Jason said he gets great satisfaction from working with all students at the College and seeing them gain confidence in themselves.
“I really like the idea of giving students the confidence to study and showing them that with hard work and commitment, previous negative educational experiences they may have had will not determine their future academic success,” he said.
“I like to help them see that they can move forward.
“For me, it’s also about forming new relationships and connections.
“I need students to be assertive and ask me questions, and the reward I get when I see students being able to do this is fantastic.
“All of a sudden, these students start to believe in themselves, explore ideas and engage critically with evidence and knowledge. It is immensely satisfying”.
Academic and English Language Programs
UOW College Australia