UMF creates new World Language Education major to meet teacher shortage in Maine

FARMINGTON, ME  (November 29, 2017)—The University of Maine at Farmington is proud to announce it has created a new World Language Education major to prepare educators for a career teaching Spanish or French in K-12 classrooms.

Within the state of Maine, as well as nationally, schools have a significant shortage of fully-certified educators in World Languages. The new UMF Bachelor of Science in World Language Education program is designed to help address this shortage of fully-prepared language teachers in Maine and beyond.  The program will be available beginning in the fall of 2018.

“Command of a foreign language is an essential skill for Maine students in a global economy,” said Kathryn A. Foster, UMF President.  “This exciting new program will prepare language teachers for service in elementary, middle, and high schools, at once educating Maine’s youth and addressing a critical shortage in K-12 language teachers.”

According to a Maine Department of Education World Language specialist, all Maine high schools are now required to offer language learning for proficiency-based graduation requirement, and many Maine middle schools are in the process of expanding their language programs.

Increasingly, schools need certified language educators to help students effectively contribute to a global business economy, support children and families from diverse backgrounds and help prepare students to meet college admission requirements.

UMF Assistant Professor of French Olivia Donaldson (standing far right) and her teaching assistant work one-on-one with students mastering the French language.

UMF Assistant Professor of French Olivia Donaldson (standing far right) and her teaching assistant work one-on-one with students mastering the French language.

UMF’s new World Language Education programs in Spanish and French will provide an opportunity for students interested in teaching languages in K-12 classrooms to earn certification in these content areas.

“Students enrolling in the World Language Education program will gain deep understanding of language, culture and effective pedagogy through coursework and multiple field experiences in K-12 classrooms,” said Katherine Yardley, UMF associate provost and dean of the College of Education, Health and Rehabilitation.

In keeping with its continued commitment to Maine schools, the UMF program will provide certified teachers who can help fill the needs of K-12 schools and ensure that world languages continue to be an important part of a student’s education.

UMF also teaches courses in Chinese and Japanese.

For more information, visit the UMF website at https://www.umf.maine.edu/majors-academics/world-language-education/.

More on University of Maine at Farmington

A nationally-recognized public liberal arts college, UMF enjoys a 150-year tradition of providing a quality academic experience combined with the personal attention and close student / faculty collaboration that help prepare all students to be successful. Rooted in a tradition of teacher preparation, UMF offers top quality programs in the arts and sciences, teacher preparation, and business and pre-professional studies. UMF is located in the heart of Maine’s four-season outdoor recreational region and is a welcoming, close-knit academic community that prepares students for engaged citizenship, enriching professional careers and an enduring love of learning.

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Media Contact: Katherine Yardley, UMF associate provost and dean of the College of Education, Health and Rehabilitation

EDITOR’S NOTE: Image can be found at:
http://www2.umf.maine.edu/inside/wp-content/uploads/sites/159/2017/11/RP178-028.jpg
Photo Credit: UMF photo
Photo Caption: UMF Assistant Professor of French Olivia Donaldson (standing far right) and her teaching assistant work one-on-one with students mastering the French language.