Australia-Japan Teachers Upskill Fellowship


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​The Australia-Japan Teachers Upskill Fellowship was a one-of-a-kind professional development program for language teachers in Japan and Queensland. Delivered by the Education Queensland International, this program aimed to showcase inquiry-based learning, develop competency in effective remote teaching, and build confidence teaching and learning in a cross-cultural environment.

This one-off virtual program enjoyed great success and highlighted the need for connection and support through the pandemic.

Watch the video to find out more about the learning opportunities the program presented, and the outcomes it achieved.


About the program

Acknowledging that Japan is the second largest trade partner to Australia and that Japanese is the most popular foreign language taught in Queensland schools, this program was designed for English language teachers in Japan and Japanese language teachers here in Queensland.

Twenty-five educators from diverse teaching and cultural backgrounds were shortlisted to participate. Some were experienced school leaders and others were new to teaching, but they all shared a common motivation, which was to successfully teach a language during a pandemic.

The highlights

  • The multi-themed and multi-platform virtual program saw some participants attending, even during school lockdown in their local areas.
  • Participants not only received professional training, they also hosted and visited each other’s classes and interacted with international students.
  • The program provided a communication platform for teachers to become acquainted with each other and build meaningful professional connections.
  • The program showcased a number of field experts from both Queensland and Japan to share their insights.

This fellowship program allowed teachers from both countries to explore their unique international connections and develop new skills to reposition themselves for the post-pandemic education environment.

The program consisted of 2 upskill workshops, a forum and a virtual classroom visit.

The benefits

The learning outcomes of this program were based around 3 key skills. These stand to advance a teacher’s performance, during and post-pandemic:

Inquiry based learning:

  • fosters curiosity and independent learning
  • improves performance especially for STEM subjects
  • promotes a positive attitude to failure and resilience.

Online and remote teaching:

  • strengthens blended teaching
  • supports the transition to a post-COVID teaching model
  • promotes teaching and learning agility.

Cross-cultural competence:

  • promotes global collaboration and cooperation
  • encourages teachers to expand their learning horizon
  • builds confidence to future learning mobility.

Program overview


Below are just some examples of how the Australia-Japan Teachers Upskill Fellowship has impacted participants from both countries:

Photo of Angela Owen

'I joined Kiyomi’s classroom. She had a small evening class of 7 12 year olds. It was very interactive and informative. I loved how she practiced pronounciation and built their confidence before they spoke with me, practicing their questions.'

– Angela Owen, Japanese Teacher in Queensland

Photo of Kiyomi Hasegawa

'I had a great time visiting Kara’s classroom. It was a rewarding experience for me. Angela also visited my classroom. The students tried really hard to talk to her in English! I was very impressed. Thank you for giving me this great opportunity.'

– Kiyomi Hasegawa, English Teacher in Japan

Photo of Kara Olver

'Thanks so much for arranging this PD! It has been great to learn new skills, be reminded of effective skills and most importantly, develop tools to be a more effective teacher.'

– Kara Olver, Japanese Teacher in Australia

Photo of Naoko Kaji

'I had a wonderful experience during your programs. I hope to put the knowledge to practical use in my English lessons.'

– Naoko Kaji, English Teacher in Japan


The Australia-Japan Teachers Upskill Fellowship was made possible through the Australia-Japan Foundation Grants Program.

Australia-Japan Foundation banner


For more information on the 2021 Australia-Japan Teachers Upskill Fellowship, please contact:

Jack Leung
Senior Program Supervisor
Education Queensland International

Last updated 31 January 2023