How Do I Become a French Teacher?
As a French teacher, you'll get the chance to pass on your language skills to others. Continue reading to learn more about education, certification and licensing requirements, and the career outlook for this profession. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.
What Requirements Must I Fulfill To Teach French?
A fundamental requirement for becoming a French teacher is having an expert knowledge of the language. Besides being fluent in French, you need to be able to clearly teach others how to speak the language. You'll need to earn a bachelor's degree to be eligible to teach at the primary or secondary school level. If you're interested in becoming a college or university professor, you're typically expected to have a graduate degree in French.
You may consider enrolling in a bachelor's degree program in French with a focus on teacher education. In such programs, you study the French language to refine your skills, while taking courses on teaching methods and theory. Your courses may include French grammar, course planning, teaching methods, public speaking, phonetics and literature studies. You may develop your classroom skills in a student teaching internship and hone your conversational skills in class discussion groups.
Do I Need To Be Licensed?
All states have licensing or certification requirements for primary and secondary school teachers, except private school teachers who may not be obligated to hold a license. The general requirements for teacher certification and licensure include holding at least a bachelor's degree, completing a teaching internship or supervised training program, passing a teaching exam and clearing a criminal background check.
Some states may have additional requirements. For example, the New York State Education Department stipulates that in order to be a French teacher for grades 7-12, you must pass a specialty test in French (www.nysed.gov). The New Jersey Department of Education requires you to pass written and oral tests to prove your proficiency in French (www.nj.gov).
What Are My Job Prospects?
As a French teacher, you may teach in public or private schools. You may have opportunities to teach students in different grade levels or offer one-on-one classes. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that job growth for kindergarten, elementary, middle and secondary school teachers was projected at 13% between 2008 and 2018 (www.bls.gov). According to the BLS, jobs were expected to be best in districts where teachers were reaching retirement age and in low income areas where funding from the government may have increased. The BLS anticipated a 15% increase in jobs at the postsecondary level during the same time period.
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