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UW-Eau Claire Students Receive French Teaching Assistantships

RELEASED: May 1, 2009

Maria Lind Jana Huebner
Maria Lind
Jana Huebner

EAU CLAIRE — Two University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire students will teach English as a foreign language in France this fall thanks to teaching assistantships offered by the French government.

Maria Lind will be in Nancy-Metz and Jana Huebner will be in Poitiers, France.

Each year the French Ministry of Education offers 1,700 teaching assistantships in French primary and secondary schools to U.S. citizens between the ages of 20-30 who are graduates or undergraduates and who are proficient in French.

Lind, of Onalaska, and Huebner, of Mendota Heights, Minn., will teach English conversation to French students who are anywhere from the primary grades to the university level. They will be notified in June of the schools where they will teach and the length of their assignments, which could last six, seven or nine months. While teaching, they will receive a stipend to cover their expenses.

Lind is using the opportunity to work toward her teaching-English-as-a-foreign-language (TEFL) certification.

"TEFL is teaching English to people who speak another language in a country where English is not the primary language," Lind said. "This is a really good initial experience in the field itself, and I'm looking forward to fine-tuning my French skills as well."

Once the program is completed, Lind wants to return to France or another country to teach. Huebner wants to teach French in the United States.

"This is a wonderful opportunity to make my French more perfect and learn more about the French culture," Huebner said. "I think it'll make me a better teacher by teaching in a completely different situation."

Both students have been to France before through UW-Eau Claire's study-abroad program. Lind was in Caen, in the Normandy region of France, and Huebner was in Pau, in the Aquitaine region of France. While in France, they took 20 hours per week of intensive French language classes.

Huebner will graduate in May, and Lind will graduate in December while in France.

"I won't get to cross the stage to get my diploma but I'm not complaining," Lind said.

While in France the students will have to find their own apartments and get around on their own.

"I feel like the classes and programs at UW-Eau Claire have really prepared us for whatever we will encounter," Huebner said.

-30-

KH/JP

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