Undergraduate Teacher Education

Student teachers in classroom

Foreign Language Teacher Education (K-12)

The University of Southern Maine (USM) Teacher Education program offers a dynamic approach to foreign language teacher education. We allow you to combine a major in either French or Spanish Linguistics with teacher education courses and student teaching experience.

You’ll graduate with a Bachelor of Arts in either French or Spanish Linguistics, and you’ll be qualified to obtain teacher certification in elementary, middle, and high school (K-12) in public school settings through the Maine Department of Education.

The Benefits of Our Teacher Education Pathways

  • Expertise in the language that you’ll teach: When you graduate, you’ll be proficient in a foreign language, and you’ll be prepared as an engaging and resourceful educator.
  • Classroom experience: You’ll gain more classroom experience here than any other teacher preparation program in the state of Maine. Field experience begins with classroom observation during your first year and continues during your second and third years. Your final year includes a year-long student teaching internship, during which you’ll gain experience in both middle school and high school.
  • Expanded career options: By graduating with a BA in French or Spanish Linguistics and being certified to teach, you’ll be qualified for a wider range of employment opportunities, including careers within and outside the field of education. In the state of Maine, most foreign language teachers find opportunities in grades 6-12.
  • This program will prepare students to be eligible for licensure within the State of Maine. Visit the UMS State Authorization and Licensure page to learn more about the licensure requirements in other states and territories, and for contact information to inquire further about the licensure requirements associated with this program.

Becoming a Foreign Language Teacher

Our Teacher Education program provides a rigorous, authentic learning experience. When you graduate, you’ll know which school setting suits you best, and you’ll be ready to tackle the professional challenges ahead.

The skills and attributes we emphasize and cultivate in future teachers:

  • Passion for working with children and adolescents and for the language you’ll teach.
  • Commitment to equity.
  • Skills and creativity in classroom technology use.
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Adaptable team player.

Advising and Support

As a student in a Teacher Education Pathway, you’ll receive academic and professional development support on several levels:

  • Selecting courses: During your first and second years, you’ll work one-on-one with a professional advisor to plan your schedule and track your progress toward graduation.
  • Staying on track to graduate: During your third and final years, you’ll receive guidance from a faculty advisor. Faculty advisors ensure that you’re meeting requirements for your Teacher Education Pathway and your major, and they’ll discuss career plans with you.
  • Establishing your student teaching internship: You’ll work with our Office of Educator Preparation to determine which school district best matches your career goals, your Teacher Education Pathway, and your geographic location.
  • Learning from professional teachers: During your final year internship, you’ll be mentored by an on-site teacher.

Learn More


Our Admissions Counselors would love to answer any questions you have about our Teacher Education Pathways.

Visit Us!

The best way to learn more about our University is to visit our beautiful campuses. The Elementary Teacher Education Pathways are taught on our Portland and Gorham campuses. Students majoring in Natural and Applied Sciences will also take courses on our Lewiston campus. Register for a tour today.