The French Dual Language Fund allocates FIT Fellowships to future French dual language and immersion teachers across the United States

The French Dual-Language Fund, a collaboration between the FACE Foundation and the Cultural Services of the French Embassy, granted 10 Future Immersion Teacher (FIT) Fellowship scholarships for the 2018-19 school year to Americans pursuing studies in dual-language French immersion programs in the United States. Currently there are nine partner universities located in Utah, Georgia, Minnesota, New York, Rhode Island and Louisiana. Students studying at these programs can receive scholarships between $4,000 and $10,000.


“This program has opened many doors for me, and has made my dream of becoming a French immersion teacher possible.”


The FIT Fellowships have opened up new professional opportunities for recipients. Student James Workman used the grant to receive a Master’s at Utah State University , taking coursework geared towards dual-language instruction. He was offered a part-time position at a local French dual-language middle school while finishing up his second year of the Master’s Program. He remarked that this new post is “an excellent opportunity that has the potential to transform into a career” and that he “couldn’t have done it without the support provided by the FIT Fellowship.” Student Katie Stengel at the University of Minnesota has had the opportunity to work with two different French dual-language programs in the Twin Cities area during her studies, and observed that the FIT fellowship “has  been hugely helpful to gain experience and visibility in schools that I would hope to work at in the future.”

For Student Carrie Tahlor, who used the scholarship to fund a Master’s in Education with a dual-language endorsement at Georgia State University, her studies exposed her “to a lot of informative research, literature, and ideas that can be readily implemented within [her] classroom” at Trip Elementary School in Gwinnett County, Georgia.

For other students, the FIT Fellowship provided the academic support to strengthen or establish dual-language programs. Alexandra Fish has used her studies at the University of Rhode Island to support the efforts of her local board of education in Brunswick, Maine, which is looking to open the first French immersion program in the region. According to Fish, “the FIT Fellowship has been instrumental in providing access to the resources and knowledge necessary to successfully launch and sustain such a program.”

Several students remarked that one of the biggest challenges facing dual-language French programs in the U.S. is finding qualified instructors who understand dual-language pedagogy and are certified to teach in the relevant state. The French Dual-Language Fund is designed to help respond to this need so that French dual-language programs in the U.S. can thrive. Student Raine Owens at Utah State University sees the FIT Fellowship as a great way to increase awareness about French dual-language programs, remarking that a significant challenge to French Dual-Language programs is lack of knowledge about them. Elsie Jackson Barthole at Georgia believes that the FIT Fellowship “is a great incentive for new language teachers coming into the field.” In the words of Alexandra Fish, “this program has opened many doors for me, and has made my dream of becoming a French immersion teacher possible.”


 

Applications for the 2020-2021 academic year are now open!

For more information about the FIT Fellowship, please visit FACE Foundation  and get in touch with: fdlf@face-foundation.org

 

MORE IN K-12 EDUCATION