October 6, 2017

Jessica Pope
Communications and Media Relations Coordinator

Camille Ralston, Graduate Assistant

VSU Offers New Online Graduate Program In Foreign Language Education

VALDOSTA – Valdosta State University now offers an online Master of Arts in Teaching, with a major in foreign language education.

The Master of Arts in Teaching, with a major in foreign language education prepares students as professional educators through a series of linguistics, second language acquisition, and methods courses. It also helps solidify their knowledge of a target language with three graduate level courses in French or Spanish. Students in the program experience a semester of student teaching that allows them to build a reflective portfolio that is evaluated at a national level.

“The market for teachers of world languages is currently booming,” said Dr. Ofélia Nikolova, interim head of the Department of Modern and Classical Languages at VSU. “Last year, at the Foreign Language Academic Advisory Council meeting, a representative of the Department of Education literally begged for more certified language teachers to be sent their way. One of our Spanish graduates from May 2017 received seven job offers when she applied for jobs in the state of Georgia. Right now, a certification for teaching of a world language is an ironclad guarantee for a job.”

The program is ideal for students with a bachelor's degree in French or Spanish, students with any bachelor's degree and an advanced proficiency level of spoken and written French or Spanish, as well as currently employed language teachers with provisional certifications. It is offered by the Department of Modern and Classical Languages, which is housed in the College of Arts and Sciences at VSU. 

The Master of Arts in Teaching, with a major in foreign language education is a 36-credit-hour program. The Department of Modern and Classical Languages is preparing an option for current undergraduate students of French and Spanish that will allow a seamless transition into the graduate program — with nine credit hours counted toward both the undergraduate and graduate degrees. This means they can finish the program in one full academic year, attending classes during the fall, spring, and summer semesters.

“Concentrating on the content knowledge at the undergraduate level will help hone the students’ language skills and prepare them to become better teachers,” said Nikolova. “The maturity of a graduate student will give the teacher candidates an advantage in accomplishing successfully all steps of the certification process.” 

Contact Dr. Ransom Gladwin, program coordinator, at (229) 333-5948 or rgladwin@valdosta.edu to learn more.

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