Approximately 350 million people globally speak Spanish, and it is one of the fastest-growing languages in the world. Due to globalization, there is an increasing demand for workers who can speak a foreign language, and many high school students are required to learn a foreign language. Because many of America’s trading partners speak Spanish, it has become one of the most popular languages to learn at schools in the United States. If you have a love and understanding of the Spanish language, as well as a passion for teaching, pursuing a Spanish teaching degree may be right for you.
Spanish Teaching Degree Requirements
All public school teachers at the primary and secondary level must be licensed. In order to receive a Spanish teaching certification, you must earn at least a four-year bachelor’s degree in Spanish, undergo a supervised student teaching practicum, and sit for a state licensing exam.
Spanish teachers at the collegiate level will typically be required to earn either a master’s or doctoral degree in Spanish. Master’s degrees take two years to complete, and doctoral degrees last three to five years and generally culminate in a research dissertation written in conjunction with a thesis advisor.
Perquisites for a bachelor’s degree program is usually a high schools diploma or GED, a minimum GPA, and standardized test scores. Perquisites for a graduate degree in Spanish is a bachelor’s degree in Spanish, letters of recommendation, a minimum GPA, and standardized test scores. Some doctoral programs may also require a master’s degree.
Spanish Teacher Training Curriculum
Spanish education degree programs are designed to teach students the fundamentals of teaching. They encompass Spanish language courses in order to develop competency in speaking, reading, and writing the language. In addition, Spanish education teachers learn about Spanish and Latin American culture and literature. Aspiring middle and high school teachers must undergo a period of fieldwork known as student teaching, during which they work with a mentor teacher to gain experience teaching in a classroom setting.
Spanish Education Courses
Spanish teacher training may include study of the following topics:
- Acquisition of Spanish
- Spanish conversation
- Spanish phonetics & phonology
- Reading & writing in Spanish
- Culture & literature of Spain
- Culture & literature of Latin America
Online Spanish Programs
Although rare, some Spanish programs are conducted online. Online programs give students the flexibility to earn their degrees without having to leave their jobs or commute to campus. However, online students will still have to complete an in-person component when it comes time to begin student-teaching.
Job Overview for Spanish Teachers
Although Spanish language classes are sometimes offered to elementary-age students, most Spanish teachers are employed at middle schools, high schools, and colleges and universities. Spanish teachers typically teach vocabulary, dialogue, grammar, pronunciation, spelling, and composition and will progress into increasing levels of difficulty as the coursework advances.
In order to become a successful Spanish teacher, you need to have not only a thorough understanding of the language, but also be able to plan lessons, maintain discipline in the classroom, and explain difficult concepts in terms that students can understand. Important qualities for Spanish teachers to have are communication skills, patience, and resourcefulness.
Most Spanish teachers at middle and high schools work the traditional 10-month school year and have a two-month break during the summer. Spanish professors at the collegiate level may have additional breaks between the fall and spring semester and may elect to teach during the summer break. They might also participate in additional avenues of academia beyond teaching, such as research and scholarly writing. Professors are also often employed part-time.
Employment for Spanish Teachers
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the median annual wage of middle school teachers was 53,430 in 2012. High school teachers earned $55,050, and postsecondary foreign language and literature teachers earned $58,670.
Middle School and High School Teacher Job Growth
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the employment of middle school teachers is expected to grow 12% from 2012 to 2022 and that of high school teachers should grow 6%. The increase is employment is due to declining student-to-teacher ratios and an increase in student enrolment. However, the growth is largely regional and will vary based on state and local government budgets. Employment prospects should be best in the South and West and will likely decline in the Northeast.
Postsecondary Teacher Job Growth
Although the employment of both part-time and full-time postsecondary teachers is expected grow at a faster than average fate of 19% through 2022 as enrolment rates at colleges and universities increase, this will vary by specialty, with higher growth expected in healthcare specialties.
Deciding to Receive Spanish Teacher Training
Teaching Spanish is a challenging and rewarding career. Being a Spanish teacher involves more than just teaching a language. Spanish teachers are essentially language ambassadors who promote the Spanish language to students, parents, and colleagues. Begin a career as a Spanish teacher by pursuing a Spanish education degree today!