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Head of English just like mum

17 November 2020

The head of Canning College’s English as a Second Language department is fluent in Italian, is learning Indonesian and considers a professional learning experience in China as one of her career highlights.

But caring and working with international students is Linda Angelone’s greatest motivation.

“I started here as a part time teacher and slowly I’ve worked myself into a position where I’m full- time head of department,” she said. “The staff are great but the students are unique… I love the job.”

2020 Linda Angelone in class

Linda spent eight years teaching in the private school sector before joining Canning College more than 20 years ago.

She enjoys teaching English in the classroom but also takes great satisfaction from providing broad advice and assistance to the College’s students.

“I love the students,” said Linda, who has two sons of similar age to Canning students. “Some students end up calling me mum because I look after them as people and not just as students.

 “They feel comfortable talking to me about challenges and other things in their lives. They can talk to me as a teacher and like a friend.”

Born to Italian parents, who migrated to Australia from Abruzzo in the 1960s, Linda grew up in a household where Italian and English languages were commonly spoken.

Given her multi-lingual upbringing it is perhaps unsurprising that she has extended her language interests.

As a consequence of her regular trips to the island of Bali, just a three-and-a-half-hour flight from Perth, she became interested in learning Indonesian.

“It’s an easy language to learn and it interests me because I go to Bali a lot and I communicate with the people there,” she said.

To learn more about the international students drawn to Canning’s pathway-to-university programs, she volunteered to be part of a program that required her to travel to China where she taught local students.

“I met quite a few parents and they were absolutely lovely,” she said. “I went out for meals and on tours and I kept in touch with some of these parents, whose children later came to study at Canning College.”

Linda has also been quick to embrace Canning College's online learning delivery, engaging with students via webcam technology before, during and after classes.