Foreign language teachers occupy a unique and increasingly important position in the U.S. educational system. If you choose this career path, it’s likely you’re doing it out of your own passion for the language and culture of the people who speak it. Our program will prepare you to be a teacher who makes languages engaging for students and who can inspire and lead change. We offers licensure tracks in Spanish, French and German.
The Graduate Certificate in Foreign Language Education (21 hours) is a part-time hybrid program which combines web-based and on-campus courses. Upon completion of the graduate certificate, students are eligible for the North Carolina Initial Standard Professional I (SP1) teaching license. The Certificate is designed for individuals with a bachelor's degree and one of the following requirements: 1) a major in French, German, or Spanish; 2) the equivalent of a major in French, German, or Spanish by completion of 24 credit hours of instruction in the foreign language; or 3) a native speaker of the foreign language with a passing score on the PRAXIS II Exam. (Note: Students must be geographically located in the State of North Carolina)
Students who complete the graduate certificate have the option of pursuing the Master of Arts in Teaching in Foreign Language Education, which leads to the advanced “M” teaching license. Coursework focuses on globalization, graduate level foreign language, research methods, leadership and professional development. Hours earned in the certificate program may be applied to the M.A.T.
Why choose our M.A.T. in Foreign Language Education?
Our faculty are nationally recognized, award-winning leaders in the field. They are known for their scholarship, excellence in teaching, community engagement and for their efforts to promote second language acquisition at the local and national levels. They are mentors for our students not only in coursework but also in writing grant proposals and in the research process.
Our program is practice-based. Students see best practices modeled by highly respected faculty members who are experts in foreign language education. Students then have the opportunity to practice these skills themselves in their clinical placements or in their own classrooms. They learn practical strategies they can apply in their classroom immediately.
Our coursework is offered in a combination of online classes and face-to-face classroom experiences. This allows students flexibility in their schedule but also provides rich interaction on campus with like-minded students and faculty.
The content of our program is aligned with the standards for foreign language teacher training defined by the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (ACTFL). Each classroom assignment addresses the competencies that this organization identifies as needed by the teachers of foreign language.
Our program starts with the graduate teaching certificate coursework rather than non-degree prerequisites, which allows our students to apply for available funds and financial aid.
The University is consistently ranked among the top ten universities in the Southeastern USA, offering a wide range of resources and opportunities to help graduate students succeed.
All teacher education programs at UNC Charlotte are accredited by the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP).
According to the projections made by the Pew Foundation, America will continue to grow in its racial diversity through immigration. In addition to the increasing opportunities at the middle and high school levels, there will also be an increasing need to teach foreign language at the elementary level. Although our graduates have primarily become K-12 language teachers in public, charter and private schools, other graduates are immersion or dual language teachers, or administrators within their school. At the same time, some of our graduates have chosen careers other than teaching in K-12 schools, including after-school programs, community-based organizations, community colleges, and private industry. Graduates that wish to pursue leadership positions in school systems or district administration may choose to apply for the Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction.
A three semester-hour internship is required for graduate certificate students. This internship is the culminating experience of the certificate program, offering students the opportunity to demonstrate their readiness for the North Carolina Standard Professional 1 (SP1) Educator’s License. Students are assigned to a classroom for a full-time semester-long experience under the supervision of the classroom teacher and university faculty. Practicing foreign language teachers may complete their internship in their own classroom.
Students complete a variety of clinical experiences in diverse settings, so they are prepared to teach in rural, urban or suburban schools. During these experiences, students apply research and/or evidence-based practices gained in coursework, analyze PK-12 student learning, and develop the ability to impact learners in a positive way. All students complete clinical experiences in at least two significantly different settings.
M.A.T. students have an opportunity to submit a grant proposal to the National Endowment of Humanities to request funding. Each semester, students in our program have received grants from $2,000 to $5,000 to pursue additional professional development.
Our students are strongly encouraged to attend the annual conference of the Foreign Language Association of North Carolina (FLANC). Our students have been selected to present or co-present at this conference numerous times. The FLANC offers over 100 professional development sessions for foreign language teachers.
The Office of Teacher Education Advising and Licensure (TEAL) is an information and student success resource for current and potential teacher candidates. Their staff provides a variety of services such as information on (and preparation resources for) testing required for program admission and teacher licensure, verification of program completion for teacher licensure, guidance surrounding the teacher licensure application process, and information on campus resources and scholarships/loans for education students.
The Office of Field Experiences provides support services to our students for school-based clinical experiences and during yearlong internships and student teaching. Field experiences – observing, interacting with, and teaching children and youth – are a critical part of all teacher education programs at UNC Charlotte.
The Center for Graduate Life provides the support and sense of community students need to meet the challenges they will face throughout their graduate experience. The Center offers workshops on topics like grant writing, presentation skills, publishing in scholarly journals, and understanding the academic job search. Virtual workshops are available online on subjects such as graduate academic writing and research writing at the graduate level.
The University Career Center provides services, programs, and support for students and alumni. Services include such options as an Education Career Fair held each spring semester, individual appointments with career advisors and the Hire-A-Niner online job and internship database. Southern Teachers Agency is a free placement service that helps recent graduates in their search for education jobs in PK-12 private and independent schools around the South.
A 2015 M.A.T. graduate, Rosalyn Rhodes, is currently teaching Spanish in a private school in the Charlotte Area. Rosalyn was named the K-12 Foreign Language Teacher of the Year in 2015 in the state of North Carolina. Her session presentation at FLANC was voted the “Best of FLANC” from over 100 other sessions. Rosalyn also came in second place for the 2016 Teacher of the Year from the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT), an organization representing fourteen states in the southeast.
Learn from Award-Winning Faculty
Our professors have been recognized repeatedly for their teaching, research and student mentoring. They have garnered several prestigious awards, including the Anthony Papalia Award for Excellence in Teacher Education from the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages, the North Carolina Foreign Language Teacher of the Year (Higher Education) from the Foreign Language Association of N.C., the College of Education Award for Excellence in Research and the Award for Excellence in Teaching and the Educator of Excellence Award from the Southern Conference on Language Teaching. In addition, faculty have repeatedly won recognition for the top presentations at the annual Foreign Language Association of N.C. conference.
Our faculty demonstrate an expert knowledge of their discipline through current research, professional presentations and consulting with public and private schools. Faculty members have authored articles appearing in top-tier journals such as Foreign Language Annals, Canadian Modern Language Review, Computer-Assisted Language Learning, and Modern Language Journal. Professors share research findings not only in the classroom but also at prestigious conferences in North Carolina and around the world. Still others work in professional organizations by leading committee work, acting as journal editors and serving on grant review boards. Click here to learn more about all our faculty’s many accomplishments and awards.
Do you want to be the foreign language teacher who can inspire and lead change? If so, click here to learn more about the requirements for the Master of Arts in Teaching Foreign Language Education, graduate student financial aid and the graduate application process.
Dr. Kristin Davin