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Lois Carrington on her Confirmation day

Date: c 1940
138 x 85 mm
Medium: Paper
Credit Line: ANMM Collection Gift from Lois Carrington
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00040470

User Terms

    Lois Carrington is shown wearing her confirmation gown as a young girl in this black and white photograph. The image was printed on a postcard and features a handwritten note on the back. Carrington became an Education Officer with the Australian Government in 1949 and taught English to migrants sailing to Australia on ships.

    SignificanceThis photograph relates to the work of English teacher Lois Carrington, one of hundreds of enthusiastic young Australians employed to smooth the passage of migrants to Australia after World War II.
    HistoryLois Carrington (nee Griffiths) was one of the first Australians recruited to teach Situational English to Europeans migrating to Australia after World War II. Situational English was developed in Australia to teach practical English to classrooms of migrants who spoke many languages. Migrants were taught complete sentences using role play, props and film, rather than focusing solely on grammar and vocabulary.

    Lois was a final year Russian language student in 1949 when she responded to the call for English teachers to work in the Australian migrant camps. Her first position was at Bonegilla Migrant Reception Centre in Victoria. Lois also worked as a teacher at Greta and Benalla camps before taking on the position of shipboard English teacher on the Italian migrant liner TOSCANA (1955-1956).

    Lois created a series of delightful hand and string puppets and props, which she used as teaching aids in her Situational English classes. The puppets were integral to this method of teaching and were used to act out 'Australianisation' scenes - such as purchasing a train ticket or posting a letter - to the delight of adult migrants and their children.

    In 1957 Lois returned to Bonegilla for a short period before completing her university degree and becoming a secondary teacher in Melbourne. She later used her puppets to teach English in Papua New Guinea, where she lived for six years with her husband. On returning home Lois joined the Australian National University's linguistics department where she worked for more than 20 years.

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