Student and professor reviewing a foreign language assignment

The University of Maine at Farmington’s World Languages Education major is designed to prepare you to teach Spanish or French in K-12 classrooms and work with families from diverse language and cultural backgrounds.

With a significant shortage of fully certified language teachers in Maine and beyond, the demand for qualified educators in world languages is tremendous and career opportunities for teaching languages are plentiful.

In fact, a Maine Department of Education World Language specialist said 100% of Maine high schools are now required to offer language learning for proficiency-based graduation requirements and many middle schools are now expanding or trying to expand their language programs.

UMF’s World Language Education program, with concentrations in Spanish and French, will prepare you to teach languages in K-12 classrooms and earn certification in these content areas. You’ll become certified to help fill the needs of K-12 schools and ensure that world languages continue to be an important component of childrens’ education.

One Major: Two Language Concentrations

UMF’s World Language Education program offers concentrations in Spanish and French.

French Concentration Courses:

  • Elementary French I, II
  • Intermediate French
  • Advanced French for Communication
  • Conversation at French Table
  • Oral Communication and Culture
  • French Film
  • People and Cultures of the Francophone World
  • People and Cultures of France
  • Intro to International & Global Studies
  • Intro to Caribbean History
  • Revolutions in the Atlantic World
  • African Politics

Spanish Concentration Courses:

  • Elementary Spanish I, II
  • Intermediate Spanish
  • Advanced Spanish for Communication
  • Oral Communication and Culture
  • Hispanic Film
  • Peoples and Cultures of Latin America
  • Peoples and Cultures of Spain
  • Latin American Cultures and Contexts
  • Ancient Latin America
  • Latin America: Peoples and Environments
  • Spain from 1000-1700
  • Cultural History of Spain (travel course)
  • Colonial Latin America
  • Modern Latin America
  • History of Mexico

At Farmington, you’ll get experience inside a real school classroom setting early and often. In fact, your first teacher-side-of-the-desk experience will typically happen in your second (sophomore) year.

Here, we connect our World Language Education students with relevant job and volunteer opportunities around the campus and in the Farmington community.

The first component of your UMF World Language Education program is the First Year Experience, where you take an introductory course specific to the age group you want to work with as a professional. This allows you to also begin getting experience in the field in your very first year at UMF.

The second component is Practicum. Here, in your sophomore year, you combine coursework in teaching methodology with significant time spent working, teaching and learning in a public school classroom.

Next, is the senior capstone experience, Student Teaching — an immersive 16-week program where you’ll work in a professional capacity in a public school setting with mentoring by UMF faculty and a mentor-teacher in the field.

Finally, UMF World Language Education students participate in a Portfolio Presentation. Each UMF teacher candidate produces and presents to faculty, staff, fellow UMF students and the public a professional portfolio of their work including lesson plans, assessments, teaching samples and more.

Here, you will work closely with faculty and supervising mentors to help apply your classroom theory into practice. You’ll also work with nearby schools and agencies, which will provide you with enriching real-world opportunities.

Students in the World Languages Education program have participated in regional and statewide professional education conferences, such as the Central Maine Educators Regional Conference. This is a wonderful networking opportunity where students get to present their scholarly work to education leaders from across the state.

In addition, you’ll have full access to specialized on-campus education-focused resources such as UMF’s Children’s Programs and our Spenciner Curriculum Materials Center, which includes assistive technology resources, children’s literature, and early childhood curricula.

Our campus is conveniently located in the heart of the local K-12 school district, walking distance to the local elementary school and middle school and a short drive to the Mt. Blue Regional High School / Foster Career & Technical Center Campus.

The University of Maine at Farmington is considered one of the premier teacher education programs in New England.

At our founding in 1864, the University of Maine at Farmington (then called Western State Normal School) took an innovative approach to teacher education, integrating a strong liberal arts foundation into teacher training. Our founders believed that only those with a strong background in the liberal arts could effectively teach the arts and sciences. Obvious as that may seem, it was not the rule among teacher education programs of the time.

More than 150 years later, the University of Maine at Farmington continues to be recognized for its innovation and excellence in teacher preparation.

  • UMF is one of only three nationally accredited teacher education programs in Maine
  • UMF was the first in Maine to receive national CAEP accreditation (formerly known as NCATE)
  • UMF received full Maine State Board of Education accreditation
  • UMF full-time faculty supervise you in your off-campus practicum and student-teaching field experiences

Bright From the Start: The Best Teachers Started at Farmington.

  • 2019 National Education Assoc. Foundation Horace Mann Award for Teaching Excellence recipient, Dan Ryder, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2017 Maine Elementary Principal of the Year, Jennifer McGee ’86, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2017 Maine Teacher of the Year, Tammy Ranger ’99, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2015 Maine Teacher of the Year, Jennifer Dorman ’93, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2015 Maine Elementary School Principal of the Year, Tracy Williams ’82, is a UMF Education graduate
  • 2014 Maine Elementary School Principal of the Year, Melanie Ellsworth ’84, is a UMF Education graduate
  • Since 2006 seven UMF Education graduates have been named Maine Teacher of the Year


  • UMF Education graduates have received the U.S. Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching
  • UMF Education graduates received the prestigious Milken Family Foundation Educator Award
  • UMF Education graduates have been named Maine History Teacher of the Year by the Gilder Lehman Institute of America
  • A UMF Education graduate is an Adult Space Camp graduate and earned certification at the Google Teacher Academy in London
  • A UMF Education graduate received a National Science Foundation (NSF) Award
  • A UMF Education graduate received the prestigious Apple Design Award
  • UMF was featured as a Great Teaching School

Farmington Education grads get hired.

According to the University of Maine at Farmington’s 2018 teacher education unit alumni survey, 84% of respondents indicate being employed as a teacher in the field and a majority being hired within one year of graduation. In addition, 98.9% of graduates responding to the survey said they were very satisfied or satisfied with their UMF program.

This program qualifies for a New England Regional Student tuition discount of more than $5,000 for residents of Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont. See details here