Jane Orton came to the Faculty of Education at the University of Melbourne in 1989 as Senior Project Officer for the Asian Languages in Teacher Education Project. From 1992-2008 she co-ordinated Modern Languages Education in the Faculty, during which time she taught language and culture, nonverbal communication in second language learning, and research methodology to postgraduates, and language teaching methodology to pre-service teacher candidates. During much of that time Jane was also an Executive member of the Australia-China Business Council (Vic), including five years as a Vice President.
Jane has supervised more than forty theses on language and culture education and for over two decades she has presented and published widely on communication between Chinese and Australians. She has also designed and published a number of innovative electronic language teaching resources for Chinese.
In 2008, she produced a report, Chinese Language Education in Australian Schools, which suggested remedial action to improve the quality of teaching and learning outcomes, including the establishment of an Australian centre for Chinese language teaching. In 2009 she became Director of the Chinese Teacher Training Centre, established by the Victorian Department of Education and Early Childhood Development in collaboration with China’s Hanban Office. The Department did not continue funding after 2015 and Jane retired. She is now an Honorary Fellow at the university and consultant to immersion Chinese language programs.
In 2016 the Australia China Relations Institute at the University of Technology, Sydney will publish Building Chinese Language Proficiency in Australia, a comprehensive report on the current state of Chinese language education written by Jane Orton.
Prior to joining the University of Melbourne Jane had completed a BA at the University of Melbourne with major studies in French and Philosophy and minor studies in German