What Are the Requirements to Be a French Teacher?

French education degree programs are offered on campus by many universities. Through these programs you'll learn about foreign language teaching methods and French culture along with the French language. If you want to help individuals move toward fluency in this romantic language, read on. Schools offering Teaching & Learning degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

How Do I Lay the Groundwork to Become a French Teacher?

There are several phases to becoming a foreign language teacher. Once it's clear that your goal is to teach at the elementary or secondary levels, you'll first need to earn a bachelor's degree.

Programs can be found under names such as education with a French concentration, adolescent education in French or French with an education concentration. You'll split your studies between the French language, education theories, French literature and cultures. On the education side, you'll study subjects in instructional design, curriculum planning, language literacy, classroom management and pedagogy. You'll also study the development and psychology of adolescents. On the French side of the curriculum, you'll learn European geography, French history, conversational French, linguistic dialects and French writers.

Your education degree will typically include an approved practice teaching or student teaching experience to provide supervised hands-on experience. Once you've completed that component and graduated, you'll be ready to pursue licensing.

Required EducationBachelor's degree in education with a specialization in French; bachelor's in French with a specialization in education
LicensureAll public school teachers must follow state-specific licensure procedures
Licensure Without Education CreditsStates offer alternative licenses to those completing education coursework
CertificationOptional 'World Languages' certification for K-12 teachers

What Items Do I Need to Be Licensed?

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) states that all public school teachers must have state-provided credentials (www.bls.gov). These certifications or licenses differ from state to state and are typically valid in that single state. The licensing process also varies, but more states are beginning to move from skill testing with exams to assessing skills with classroom demonstrations. Contact your state's board of education for the specifics on licensing in your area.

What if I Didn't Earn a Bachelor's Degree for Education?

If you earned a bachelor's degree in French prior to your decision to teach, there are other licensing possibilities for you. Alternative licenses, offered by all states, allow you to work in a high-demand subject or low-income school. These licenses meet requirements to teach if you have a bachelor's degree in the subject you'll teach but lack education credits. With this license in hand, you can teach in schools while you continue your education requirements. These requirements can be met with continuing education credits or a master' degree in education. The National Center for Alternative Certification provides news, facts and state requirements (www.teach-now.org).

Are Additional Professional Credentials Possible?

While it doesn't take the place of a state-issued credential, voluntary additional licensure is possible through the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). This organization offers a credential for K-12th grade teachers under the name of 'World Languages' certification (www.nbpts.org).

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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