Erin Galloway is getting ready to teach French and she’s totally psyched! She’s receiving amazing preparation for this role and will end up with a very versatile degree – including PK–12 certification that will qualify her to teach anywhere in South Carolina. And better yet, she’ll be accredited to teach anywhere in the U.S., too.
Meet Erin. She’s confident, capable and charismatic. She’s going to be a great teacher. Her confidence, she explains, comes from the strong background she’s gotten as a foreign language education major. That includes not only the courses she’s taken, but also the experiences she amassed in other areas of this major.
“The College has a study abroad program in La Rochelle, France, which is a wonderful site. Initially, I didn’t think I could go abroad given my schedule, but it all worked out miraculously. The program in La Rochelle is amazing. It’s well established and there’s a tremendous network of host families involved. For me, it truly was an immersion experience to spend a full semester there. As a foreign language major, I feel it’s imperative to take advantage of this kind of experience. You have the chance to be among native speakers, and interact and make mistakes. I got a lot of confidence and comfort from that.”
Since then, Erin has been focused on her course requirements. “Among other things, we have to take four classes that lead up to our student teaching experience. Collectively, that’s about 125 hours of in-class observation where we’re paired with a teacher in a specific school. Charleston is a great place for this because it has a real diversity of schools: large ones and small ones, rural and urban, and schools with differing socioeconomic populations.”
Those observation sessions, she says, are invaluable. “The teachers I’ve observed have been open and helpful. I’ve learned a lot from them, such as how to use a smart board, how to organize files, plan lessons — practical things that you don’t always get from a textbook. ”
Erin knows it can be scary heading toward graduation and out into the world. But she’s confident that she’ll be fully prepared when she steps into her first classroom as a French teacher. “I know that I’ll hit the ground running when the time comes.”
Our foreign language education majors must also complete a full major in one of four specific areas (Classics, French, German and Spanish). Students who obtain this double major will be prepared to teach in their respective area from pre-kindergarten through 12th grade, with accreditation from the National Council for the Accreditation of Teacher Education as well as the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages.
- There are more than 60 study abroad programs led by College of Charleston faculty, including many options for full language immersion.
- Students who successfully complete this major receive South Carolina teacher certification, which is recognized by all other U.S. states.
- Foreign language education majors secure teaching jobs straight out of college.
- Schools in the Charleston region offer a variety of environments, augmenting the student teaching experience.
- This double major may help students obtain part-time/temporary teaching positions in other countries.