Murdoch University Research Repository

Welcome to the Murdoch University Research Repository

The Murdoch University Research Repository is an open access digital collection of research
created by Murdoch University staff, researchers and postgraduate students.

Learn more

'Hey, I’m a real teacher!' The value of language teachers and the role of Non‐Contact Time in Queensland schools

Mason, S.ORCID: 0000-0002-8999-4448 (2015) 'Hey, I’m a real teacher!' The value of language teachers and the role of Non‐Contact Time in Queensland schools. New Zealand Language Teacher, 41 . pp. 9-22.

Link to Published Version:;dn=...
*Subscription may be required


Being valued is an important element in workplace satisfaction. Workers who feel valued are more likely to stay in their chosen profession, and are more likely to make a productive and positive contribution. Teachers across Australia feel that their profession is not valued in society, and this is one possible catalyst for high levels of attrition, particular for teachers in the early years of their career. Within schools there also exists a hierarchy of value, which places some subject areas ahead of others. In Australia, languages often arguably sit somewhere at the bottom of the hierarchy. This paper reports on a wider study of language teacher attrition in Queensland, and focuses specifically on the variable of value. Quantitative data were collected from 227 former and current language teachers from Queensland primary and secondary schools. This was complemented with rich, qualitative data, collected through interviews with 10 selected participants. The findings suggest that language teachers who feel that they are valued, and feel that their subject is valued, are more likely to remain in their positions. In‐depth investigations found that the alignment of language lessons with classroom teachers' Non‐Contact Time has had a considerable negative impact on language teachers' roles.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: New Zealand Association of Language Teachers
Publisher's Website:
Item Control Page Item Control Page