Award for Sustained Excellence in Tertiary Teaching
Teaching Fellow, Department of Languages and Culture, University of Otago
"Language learning opened up a whole new world for me, and now it is my turn to share this experience."
Haruko Stuart’s students love her passion, enthusiasm and commitment to their learning. She has been recognized year after year by receiving many teaching awards from the Student Association. Often students, after taking a first paper with Haruko, decide to continue learning Japanese. Many have subsequently moved into careers that utilize their Japanese language expertise. She becomes, as one student puts it, “…an educator, a motivator, a mentor and a friend.”
Haruko says she “strives to create a friendly and relaxed atmosphere” in her classroom. This is seen in the wide range of games and activities she has developed that allow students to take risks and practice speaking Japanese. Haruko’s teaching and support for her students is not limited to the classroom, she also provides opportunities for them to participate in tea ceremonies, learn calligraphy and meet exchange students.
Haruko is also recognized by her colleagues as an amazing teacher, one who has a contagious enthusiasm for her subject and is generous with her time. As one colleague says, “We all really appreciate Haruko’s warm, sensitive and positive character that makes working with her a true pleasure.”