The Bilingual Teacher Student Association (BTSA), an undergraduate club at UCI for future bilingual teachers, recently hosted an informational meeting on the new Spanish/English bilingual education minor in the Department of Spanish and Portuguese. Spanish professor and director of the new minor, Julio Torres, explained the required courses offered in the School of Education, Humanities and Department of Spanish and Portuguese. The courses will build foundational knowledge and skills in bilingual education; it will also build a pathway that will increase the amount of qualified future bilingual teachers in the field. Lecturer and faculty advisor for BTSA, Susan Guilfoyle, discussed the fieldwork component in dual immersion schools. Students pursuing the new minor will need to complete a minimum of 40 hours of fieldwork service in a dual immersion (Spanish) program.
A panel of bilingual UCI MAT students were also present to share their experiences as student teachers in dual immersion schools. Margarita Rodriguez, Karina Calderon and Elisa Garcia discussed lesson planning, interviewing skills and other related topics. All three were undergraduates at UCI and Elisa was past president of BTSA. All three have also secured employment as bilingual teachers for next year.
The majority of students attending the meeting were education science majors. Many in attendance showed great interest and excitement in the new minor. Students will be able to start declaring the minor in the fall.