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Angela Newman

The French language has been a huge part of my life since the age of five. I started French immersion in kindergarten and I was extremely proud to be learning another language. My immersion continued until my family relocated to a small town in Newfoundland where French immersion was not offered. This was not the end of my second language journey however; in fact, I would describe it more as the beginning. I started Core French and was instantly the star student. My ability to speak French was just amazing to classmates and this made me proud and confident. From that point on I really loved to learn French, more than I ever had before. It was only natural that I continued my French acquisition into university. I had wanted to be a teacher since grade two but it wasn't clear what I wanted to teach until high school. French had always given me such a sense of accomplishment and teaching it has done just the same.

I took my language journey to Sherbrook, Quebec where I completed one semester at L'Université de Sherbrook. Here my spoken French improved tremendously and I believe it is here that I truly became bilingual. I had the opportunity to do my internship in Thailand as an international option through Memorial and this was beyond amazing. Teaching French at a private school during the week and laying on a sand white beach on the weekends was an example of second language learning bliss! I came back to Newfoundland after my internship ready to take on the educational world.

I was lucky enough to get a replacement position my first year as a teacher. Having French as a teachable is a huge asset and it is no doubt the reason I have the job security I have today. As a new teacher I had a lot to learn and even now, in my fifth year, I still have a lot to learn. That is however part of the beauty of teaching; it is never a dull day, always a new situation, and always a chance to start over fresh every year and learn what worked and what didn't. Teaching French can be a challenge since it is often a subject students find challenging; but again, this makes it all the more worthwhile.

After my first year teaching, the replacement position I was in turned permanent and I was offered the position. It was very rewarding and I had worked hard to prove myself. I spent two years at that school and then took a replacement at a larger school in town. This is where I truly found myself as a French teacher. I was assigned five slots of Core French and a very challenging group of students. I had to make French fun and come up with new and innovative ways to get students interested in their second language learning. I had a student tell me that year that "French was fun this year, I learned stuff", this means I succeeded.

After two years teaching I applied to the master's program in Arts and Education with a focus on second language. I could probably have chosen an easier route, but learning French still gives me this sense of accomplishment and becoming a better second language teacher will be a never ending goal. I hope to be a better teacher with every year that passes and to ignite a passion for second language learning in my students.

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