Speaking Spanish gives you more than the opportunity to blend into Spanish-speaking cultures. Spanish teachers can help students learn the language, advise students who are considering study abroad programs or Spanish majors and act as cultural ambassadors for Spanish-speaking countries. If you want to become a Spanish teacher, you'll need to major either in Spanish education or the Spanish language. If you choose the latter option, you may have to take additional classes to qualify for a teaching certificate after you graduate.
A Spanish education major needs to know the basics of teaching students and must master classroom management techniques. You'll take courses in education that can include several electives of your choosing, as well as courses such as substance abuse prevention in schools, curriculum and instruction, school and society, and courses designed to prepare you for the age group you want to teach. For example, if you want to teach high school, you might take classes in adolescent psychology or high school teaching methods.
You'll have to be a strong Spanish speaker to teach students to speak the language. If you're not already fluent, you may need to take courses in elementary and intermediate Spanish, but these courses will not give you credit toward your major. Your major classes will include courses such as Spanish conversation, Spanish grammar and composition, and advanced Spanish.
For many of your students, your class may be their first introduction to Spanish cultures or to any foreign culture at all. Consequently, you'll need to be educated about Spanish culture. This means taking classes such as Spanish literature, global issues, civilization and culture in Spain, culture and customs of Spanish America, and Spanish or Latin American history.
Reading and Communication
Although you're teaching students Spanish, you're also working within the framework of their current communication and reading skills, and may have to adjust your teaching style to reflect student capabilities. Consequently, you'll be working at the intersection of students' Spanish and English skills. You'll likely take courses in foreign language acquisition, reading, learning and development, or linguistics.
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