Addressing the World Language Teacher Shortage: How Can the Franco-American Centre Support French Programs Under Pressure in Maine?

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Abstract Summary



This project centers around the world language teaching shortage in Maine public high schools, which is creating critical difficulties in ensuring the resources to meet standards and student educational needs. As a teacher candidate in the French language, this topic is immediately relevant personally and professionally and this was the primary motivation behind investigating the shortage. I conducted personal interviews with currently practicing French teachers from around the state and used the compiled answers to identify supports for the programs to be created in conjunction with the Franco-American Centre at the University of Maine. Participating teachers were asked questions about their perspectives on the statewide shortage, their experiences with meeting state standards under the constraints of their program, and the specific needs of their classroom. The responses largely addressed difficulty finding content and sources relevant to changing standards, planning lessons that would meet the needs of the current student population, and making world language and culture relevant to student interests and aspirations. The resulting resources in development include prepared standards-based lessons and content sources, as well as future efforts to bring speakers to Maine classrooms as a cultural exposure opportunity. As part of the greater impact of the project, I will continue working with the Franco-American Centre to create partnerships with French teachers and evolving the support plan as necessary. For both the academic community and the public, this project works to ensure that Maine students will be given educational equity in culturally and professionally significant skills. 

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