French teachers needed in Acadiana schools

CECILIA, La. (KLFY)- Several Acadian schools are in need of French teachers because of the growing interest in the French immersion programs.

Finding qualified French teachers in the area is becoming harder and harder, in fact, parents of students in three Cecilia schools were told a shortage of teachers is making it difficult to fully staff the French Immersion programs.

The program introduces the French language to students as young as five years old. English is used in reading, writing, and spelling, but other subjects including math, science, physical education, and art are conducted entirely in French.

Peggy Feehan, the language education specialist for CODOFIL said, “Louisiana’s heritage is francophone so it makes a whole lotta sense to have French in our schools. But besides that, there’s an added benefit to being bilingual. It opens up a whole world to those kids.””

With 5,000 students in the program statewide, the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana is having a hard time finding qualified teachers from French-speaking countries.

So they are relying on locals to take advantage of their teacher education program.

“We have a program it’s called Escadrille and typically that program takes young Louisianans and moves them to France for the year. Then they come back fluent in French because they’ve been in France for a year and then they have a master’s degree in education and we put them in our schools. Hopefully, this will continue to grow so that we have more and more Louisianans teaching French in our schools that are from here that are going to stay here,” said Feehan.

For more information on the Escadrille program visit CODOFIL’s website.

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