What Classes Should I Take to Be a Spanish Teacher?

There is currently a shortage of Spanish teachers nationwide.
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The decision to become a Spanish teacher can be an exciting career move. According to the U.S. Department of Education, there has been a shortage of Spanish teachers in public schools since 1990. For the Spanish teacher-to-be, receiving the proper training is the key to maintaining professional success in such an in-demand field.

1 Spanish Grammar

Grammar is the foundation of any language. To be a successful Spanish teacher, you need to become fluently familiar with the nuances of the language. Typically, an aspiring language teacher needs to complete basic to advanced coursework that teaches verb conjugations and complex concepts in pronunciation. Collegiate Spanish teacher certification programs at institutions like Montclair State University require students to enroll in grammar courses such as Spanish phonetics, Spanish grammar and advanced grammar to complete their course of study. Completion of these courses will help to ensure that you have a sound starting point at which to begin training others in the Spanish language.

Vocabulary Builder

2 Speaking and Writing Spanish

Being able to synthesize grammar and vocabulary is an important part of learning and teaching Spanish. To teach the language, you must become comfortable and competent in both speaking and writing the Spanish language. The modern language department at Murray State University requires students seeking Spanish teaching certification to take two semesters of a course called conversation and composition. Taking advanced courses that bring written and spoken Spanish together will ensure that you are fluent and can assist others in their quest to become conversant in Spanish.

3 Spanish Literature

Most state-mandated Spanish-content standards require teachers of the language to introduce students to literature written by authors from places such as Spain and Central and South America. Subject area regulatory boards like the Texas Education Agency mandate that students taking a language other than English in grades seven through 12 must be able to "interpret and demonstrate understanding of spoken and written language, including literature, on a variety of topics." Because of this, the aspiring teacher should make it a point to take courses where they can become familiar with the work of Spanish authors from various regions.

4 Cultural Proficiency

Understanding the customs, traditions and practices of the people living in Spanish-speaking countries not only enables potential teachers to teach cultural information to students, but it enhances the ability of students to learn the language. Students can better comprehend the idiomatic expressions used in different Spanish-speaking regions if they understand the cultural norms of the various nations. As an aspiring teacher, seek out courses that review such items.

Based in Houston, C.P. Brown is a writer with experience in children's fiction, poetry, the arts and education. Her work has appeared in the "Houston Chronicle" and various poetry publications. Brown is the founder of a nonprofit organization that promotes fine arts and a former charter school administrator. She holds a Master of Education from Harvard University.