Centenary-trained teachers head to France for further study

SHREVEPORT, LA — Aspiring French teachers in the Escadrille Louisiane program recently left for a year of study abroad, with eight participants heading to France and one to Martinique. The Escadrille program sponsored by the Council on the Development of French in Louisiana (CODOFIL) combines a Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) from Centenary College with coursework and a year of student teaching in a French-speaking host country. Escadrille graduates then work for at least three years teaching French in Louisiana schools.

“Escadrille is a wonderful program that allows Louisiana students the ability to work and teach in France and gain incredible immersive experiences with the French language,” says Dominic Salinas, director of the department of education at Centenary. “The French government pays them a stipend to teach in France and it is definitely a ‘win/win situation.’”

Escadrille was created in 2010 to train Louisiana teachers who are fluent in French, dedicated to protecting and cultivating Louisiana’s French heritage, and committed to teaching French in Louisiana schools. The program is named after Escadrille Lafayette, a group of 200 Americans who trained as pilots and flew with the French during World War I.

After completing two courses for the MAT at Centenary in the initial summer, Escadrille students take additional courses at either the University of Brittany in Rennes, France or at the University of the Antilles in Martinique. The students return with twelve hours of graduate credit (six from Centenary and six from their French-language university).  This year, Regina Sullivan of Lafayette became the first Escadrille participant to study at the University of the Antilles thanks to a new mutual agreement with that institution. Evan Arceneaux (Kenner), Hannah Bergeron (Lafayette), Taylor Deville (Ville Platte), Kelsi Dougherty (New Orleans), Mamie Lane (Lafayette), Margot Marks (New Orleans), Stephen Meaux (Lafayette), Genesis Rodas (New Orleans), and Emily Thibodeaux (Lafayette) are spending the 2016-2017 academic year in Rennes. 

The students will return to Centenary next summer, complete six additional hours on campus, and begin teaching in immersion schools across Louisiana in the fall of 2017.  Their first year teaching in Louisiana (2017-18) will be their clinical practice experience.  At the conclusion of their program, they will certify to teach in Louisiana and receive the MAT from Centenary.

Visit the Escadrille website for more information on the program.