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Bausmith 1

Foreign Language Teacher

Isaiah Bausmith Mrs. Tieman College Prep 12 31 September 2013

Bausmith 2 Isaiah Bausmith Mrs. Tieman College Prep 31 September 2013 Foreign Language Teacher Astronaut. Chef. Celebrity. Doctor. Teacher. Firefighter. These positions are what people dream to become; I was one of those who desired to be a chef. Eighth grade came along with all of its occupation assessments and I found myself in a different direction: finance. Who wouldnt want to make eighty thousand dollars a year? But now I find myself in my senior year of high school. And of no surprise Im on a different path: teaching. Not just any teaching though, Spanish teaching. I never realized until now that it has always been in my life, starting when I was little kid in elementary school. Imagine. Sitting in the basement of a church. Surrounded by echos of tutors attempting to help their tutor-ees with tonights homework. Here is my first introduction. My tutor writes down some funny-looking words, words Id never seen before. They were Spanish. I went into school the next day, all cocky like. I even tested out my new vocab on the Guatemalan at our school, completely regretting it (her immersion to my meager supply). However, time goes by and next thing I know its first period, the start of freshman year, and Mrs. Pardon is yammering the different words of Spanish. I loved every minute. Hola. Ayer. Adios. Anaranjado. Chills covered my arms from the start. I even remember looking at anaranjado and thinking How the heck do you say this? Now I sit in Mrs. Syvertsons class in my fourth year of the language, anaranjado a thing for kindergarteners. Obedecer. Conseguir. Hacerse. Enloquecer. Castilian over Mexican. Verb

Bausmith 3 tenses like the subjunctive, preterite, compound, etc. becoming common knowledge. My brain wants to switch over to Spanish now. During ET/EH, I find myself in the Spanish room, tutoring anyone and everyone who needs help, even grading Spanish 3 quizzes. Its doing things like this that trigger my love of teaching the language. Its this love that triggered me to research it; to research just what it is that Im getting myself into. First off, the general term for this occupation is foreign language teacher. These people instruct the development of languages and literature in other languages like Spanish (Career Onestop). Theyre the ones like Mrs. Pardon and Syvertson who teach those like me how to correctly ask where the bathroom is or what time it is: Dnde est el bao? Que hora es? So if you are ever in a situation where no one speaks English, youll be able to find the bathroom and arrive at your appointment on time. Great, but why does it matter? Pastoriza Flores says its the gateway to understanding Hispanic culture especially for commercial and international purposes. She says over a fifth of the planet uses the language and also over one hundred million speak it. That should get someones attention, right there. That stretches from countries like Mexico to countries like Brazil, twice the size of the United States (Flores). Its no wonder why we shouldnt learn the language, especially since other countries have been learning English. Other countries even make studies on how to better instruct the teaching of foreign languages. It even says that the United States is behind; we start learning a foreign language around the age of fourteen where as a foreign language is introduced in elementary school in other countries. In fact, Ingrid Pufahl and her compatriots found that out of nineteen countries, fifteen of them either mandate or introduce a foreign language in elementary school or by the age of eight (Flores). So then people who teach a language like Spanish should be paid accordingly, right?

Bausmith 4 I think foreign language teachers are paid quite nicely. The median pay in Ohio is a little over fifty-eight thousand dollars. Keep in mind though, thats just the middle ground. Some cities will pay up into the beginnings of a hundred thousand (Career Onestop). I shouldnt have to search too hard for a job in this field either because Career Onestops article Foreign Language and Literature Teacher, Postsecondary is predicting an increase of eleven percent with MyNextMove saying that its an average growth. That being said, I cant just walk out of Waynesville High School with four years of Spanish and proclaim All hail Isaiah, the greatest Spanish teacher of all time. Hire me! Every school in the nation would laugh at me. There are certain requirements one must attain in order to find a place in this career. Brain Track, for example, says that you must aquire a minumum of a bachelors degree through college with a best bet in a masters. Apparently, some states require such a high degree in order to qualify for a teaching license. In my opinion that makes sense. If you have a masters degree, it demonstrates your complete understanding of whatever language you have learned. Big Future recommends in its article, Major: Foreign Language Education that everyone should study abroad. Studying abroad is the best way to become fluent in the language, because of the immersion and how it forces you to pick up the language: English cant save you when the people dont speak it. If I were to go to Espaa for example, I wouldnt have English to fall back on. I either fail or succeed. So you can do all the paper crunching, great. But that still doesnt mean that being a foreign language teacher is right for everyone. There are certain personality traits, abilities, and skills that these foreign language teachers should have. For example, they should like helping others: thats what a teacher does, helps students with their questions and comprehend a foreign language. Secondly, they should have feelings of concern for others. What if a student is

Bausmith 5 failing? The teacher has to care enough to help him or her fix his or her grade. Lastly, these people also should be dependable. The entire district is depending on teachers to fulfill their jobs; they have to be able to teach their subject without doubt (My Next Move). You can be all those things, but there are still certain abilities that each foreign language teacher should have. For example, they should be able to communicate in their language. They should be able to listen and comprehend what others are saying. Probably the most important, in my opinion, is being able to spot the mistakes of their students. If you cant spot mistakes, how are the students supposed to learn? These teachers should also be able to keep words, numbers, etc. locked away in their brains (of course) (My Next Move). I know that I have the potential to do all of these things. I chat with both of our Spanish teachers almost completely in Spanish. I work with people from Ecuador and Mexico and usually have to play translator between them and the managers. However, this is only the on-paper specifics of the job. Mrs. Syvertsen helped me get more of an in-depth understanding of just how teaching works. She gives out a huge list to Spanish 3 students of all the verbs they should know before walking into her class. I asked her how she chose them all and her response really mystified me. She said that she chose verbs you would use most common in conversation. Duh! I always thought she had a little book that spelt out which verbs she wanted us to know. No. She, herself, breaks down the language and picks out the verbs she thinks are most useful. Another thing that I never really understood was who gave her guidelines. Sure we have Gebhardt, but I feel like he only pertains to what America currently views as its core subjects: English, Math, Social Studies, etc. Syvertson told me that Mrs. Burchfield gives her goals to set, requirements to meet, proving that she isnt just a free spirit teaching however she pleases. She

Bausmith 6 has to follow guidelines sent by the state. These guidelines are called the Common Core. They are designed to test student growth. So, Seora now has to give a test at the beginning and end of each year. She doesnt really mind that but it makes for that much more grading. Speaking of grading, she strongly dislikes it. It consumes so much of her time, entire weekends. Grading, Grading, Grading, its her least favorite aspect of the job. She also has one elementary-aged child and also, one who is almost at the elementary age. So, she says that it will get better once they grow up some. Her favorite part about the job is the actual teaching of the language. Being able to enlighten kids about the differences encompassing the Spanish entity. Spanish is much like the United States, one body made from individual parts. Spanish encompasses anyone who speaks the language but a Spaniard is much different than a Mexican. The accents are different for example. Parts of Spain use the Castellano accent which allows a person to spell the language truly phonetically. Mexican Spanish is more of a guessing game because they pronounce words differently. As you can see, we both have a love of the language and she definitely loves teaching it. I just hope to follow in her footsteps. So what if none of this works? There are several occupations I could still go into. I could work for the CIA, for example. They need Foreign Language Instructors to communicate with other countries like Mexico, Spain, etc. Its about the same thing as teaching class in a high school or college, just for the government. Specifically, its a full time opportunity with a pay scale going all the way up to about seventy five thousand dollars. I would be located in Washington DC, working under the CIA. How sweet would that be? But in order to qualify for such an honor, I would need a Bachelors in foreign language, linguistics, or some other related degree. I would have to be able to speak the language, Spanish specifically to me, like I was born from Barcelona, Spain as well as a minimum of five teaching years. Being in the CIA, they

Bausmith 7 probably get all the new technologies, so one would have to be a little bit of a tech-ee (Foreign Language Instructor). That shouldnt be a problem for me as I have an iPhone, Samsung Laptop, and usually email all of my essays and some assignments to my teachers. There are also occupations like interpreters and translators. They still bring in quite a few dollars as well at a little over forty three thousand dollars per year. One would also need a Bachelors degree here as well, which isnt too bad, pretty much like all other careers. One of the downfalls, however, is that there is long term, on-the-job training. So I would need a clear mindset in being a translator/ interpreter because of the large minimum time constraint. However, the plus side is that there is a forty two percent expected job growth. Even better, I love translating English into Spanish and Spanish into English. I love how it challenges my processing abilities. How do I plan to even start this long, inevitable process? Well the first step would be to apply for college. My dream college would be Miami, their study abroad program is ranked number one in the nation for study abroad participation. Plus, they have places in Oviedo, Spain, the motherland of Spanish and el accento Castellano (Study Abroad and Away). However, Mrs. Syvertsen went to Wright State University and she says they have an excellent foreign language program, so I am considering attending there after graduating college, I plan on taking whatever job is out there. But my dream place is in a small town like Waynesville, where everyone knows everybody. Even a small college would be okay. In conclusion, my rightful occupation on this planet is a Foreign Language Teacher. I struggled to not write in Spanish while typing this paper. Plus I love helping people and love telling people about the Castellano accent and all the little intricate details to the language.

Bausmith 8 Works Cited Flores, Pastoriza. "The Importance of Teaching Spanish." JSTOR. American Association of Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, 2013. Web. 25 Sept. 2013. "Foreign Language Teacher Degrees." Brain Track. N.p., 2013. Web. 30 Sept. 2013. "Foreign Language Instructor." Foreign Language Instructor. CIA, 10 May 2007. Web. 27 Sept. 2013. "Foreign Language and Literature Teacher, Postsecondary: Ohio." Career Onestop. American Job Center, n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. "Foreign Language & Literature Teachers, Postsecondary." My Next Move. American Job Center, n.d. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. "Intpreters and Translators." U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. United States Department of Labour, 26 June 2012. Web. 26 Sept. 2013. "Majors - Foreign Language Teacher Education." Big Future. College Board, 2013. Web. 30 Sept. 2013. Pufahl, Ingrid, Nancy C. Rhodes, and Donna Christian. "CAL: Digests: What We Can Learn From Foreign Language Teaching In Other Countries." Center For Applied Linguistics. U.S. Department of Education, 2001. Web. 30 Sept. 2013. Study Abroad and Away. Miami University. N.p., 2013. Web. 01 Oct. 2013 Syverston, Maria. Personal Interview. 27. Sept. 2013