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Is taking a language beneficial when I want to be a special education teacher?

Hello I am Casey Gaffney, a junior at Boston Collegiate Charter School. I have always wanted to be a teacher since I was a child. I am specifically interested in Special Education. I want to focus on Down Syndrome and Autism. I was wondering whether or not I should take a minor in a language in addition to a major in education? Is taking a language beneficial when I want to be a teacher when I am older? college teacher education special-education

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David’s Answer

One of the prime activities of being a Teach-er is the ability to effectively communicate. The broader and more 'adept' your communication skills are, the more effective -AND- more employable you become. Especially in today's fast evolving realm of 'special needs', evaluations, local and federal guidelines and mandates for services to a wider audience, the ability to communicate with non-English speaking parents and students becomes more of an imperative.

Thank you ! Casey G.
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Leslie’s Answer

I would also add that if you become really good in another language, there may be an option to teach it. For example, if you are a special education teacher that stays with the same class all day, that class might have Spanish, and you might be able to be the lead teacher on that. If you are interested in teaching, taking a language will be an asset and will give you more options!

Thank you! Casey G.
Thank You. Archana N.
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Adrienne’s Answer

Absolutely, not only are people learning and speaking Spanish frequently within the United States, I have seen people training their children how to speak a third language. I have a family member and a friend from college who listen and pi tactics Chinese daily in the car to and from school and to other places to have this useful and valuable skill. You will definitely become more in demand by speaking another language. Hey, you can even work overseas.

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Katelyn’s Answer

Yes! ESL students often get stuck with an IEP, so knowing a second language can help you help these students.

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Maija’s Answer

Yes! At a certain time in my career I was looking for work as a paraprofessional, to make ends meet, student loans and all. Every school wanted a bilingual candidate. Well I am bilingual, French/English. Not a high need language in Minnesota! Arabic/Somali and Hmong are the big languages here. Find out which are in high need in your area and study those. It will distinguish you from the other candidates.

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