• Students can prepare to teach
    French, German, or Spanish
  • At MTSU, students can
    study with innovative professors
  • An intensive teaching internship adds a valuable dimension to the program
  • Who said learning couldn’t be fun?

Foreign Languages M.A.T.

Study and teach at the same time with the Foreign Language Master of Teaching (M.A.T.) program. This degree is designed to give students the best possible preparation for teaching a foreign language. Three languages are offered: French, German, and Spanish. Candidates select from two course tracks: licensure for students seeking public school certification or non-licensure for those who may already have an elementary or other certificate. Classes cover education, theories of language acquisition, foreign language teaching methods, linguistics, and the literature and culture of the chosen language. The intensive teaching internship, a unique aspect of the program, pairs students with a faculty supervisor to teach an introductory language course at MTSU or with an experienced educator in a country where the language of emphasis is spoken. Classes also are offered in late afternoon or evening for the convenience of currently employed teachers.

National grant funds foreign language teaching fellows at MTSU

National grant funds foreign language teaching fellows at MTSU

MTSU’s foreign languages department substantially expanded its Master of Arts in Teaching program after receiving a $450,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education. Students pursuing the M.A.T. in French, German, or Spanish may apply for four fellowships awarded through GAANN (Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need). Dylan White, a 2010 alum, couldn’t afford a master’s study in Germany and worked retail before returning to MTSU for a teaching license. When he then learned of the grant, he realized this would make master’s studies possible. “I knew it would be a good program for me, since it focuses on both pedagogy and language skills,” White says. “… The professors are very helpful, and I feel very well prepared to go out into my own classroom and teach German. I'm very grateful to have been afforded such a great opportunity.” Each fellow receives an annual stipend and tuition waiver.

Language faculty's scholarly work benefits grad students

Language faculty's scholarly work benefits grad students

Foreign language graduate faculty members are engaged in a wide variety of scholarly activities that feature new approaches to second-language methodology, original research in literary studies, and study-abroad programs. Master’s students benefit from a close relationship to the faculty and the opportunity to participate in workshops, research, and other projects. Dr. Shelley Thomas, associate professor of French, is founder and director of the Center for Accelerated Language Acquisition. Two techniques shown to impact long-term retention and fluency, Total Physical Response and Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling, are featured in both the CALA language institute and in Thomas' graduate class on methodology. She also was keynote speaker at the National TPRS Language Conference. Ric Morris, professor of Spanish, rebooted the university’s successful Cuba study-abroad program in 2011. He also filmed two documentaries tracing Cuba’s turbulent sugar industry, with Milton Hershey’s Cuba screened at universities and by the Hershey-Derry Township Historical Society.

Graduates from the MTSU program have had an exceptionally high placement rate in both public and private schools as foreign language educators. Some may go on to teach at the community college level if they take more courses in the content area than required.

Employers of MTSU alumni include

  • Brentwood High School
  • Centennial High School
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Montgomery Bell Academy
  • Notre Dame High School
  • Tennessee State University
  • Webb School


The Foreign Languages and Literatures Department offers the Master of Arts in Teaching (M.A.T.) with concentrations in French, German, or Spanish. MTSU is the only public institution in the state offering the M.A.T. in foreign languages.

Applicants for the M.A.T. program in foreign languages must have:

  • 24 undergraduate semester hours in their target foreign language (up to six hours may be taken while enrolled in the program). Native speakers must consult with the graduate director regarding this requirement.
  • a bachelor’s degree.
  • a combined score of 291 (current scale) or 900 (former scale) on the GRE (Graduate Record Exam) – verbal and quantitative components.
  • a cumulative undergraduate GPA of 3.0.
  • a score of Intermediate High or better on an oral proficiency exam administered by the department.

Also offered is a minor at the graduate level.

For complete curriculum details, click on the REQUIREMENTS  tab above.


The undergraduate major in Foreign Languages has three concentrations — French, German, and Spanish — and leads to either the Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) or Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. Minors are offered in French, German, Spanish, and Japanese. Courses in Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, Italian, Kurdish, Latin, Portuguese, and Russian are available. 

Interdisciplinary minors coordinated through the Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures include Classical Studies, Early Modern European Studies, Latin American Studies, Linguistic Studies, and Portuguese Studies.

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French German Spanish

Foreign Languages, French Concentration, M.A.T.

Theresa McBreen, Program Director
(615) 904-8582

The Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures offers the Master of Arts in Teaching with concentrations in French, German, or Spanish. Also offered is a minor at the graduate level. Students who would like to minor in foreign languages should determine the requirements based on their major curriculum in consultation with their advisors.

This degree is intended to prepare native and non-native speakers of the foreign language for a career in foreign language teaching at the elementary or secondary level. Students planning to teach in elementary school must be licensed prior to admission to the M.A.T. program. Those planning to teach on the secondary level may be already licensed or may pursue licensure while enrolled in the M.A.T. program; however, requirements for admission to teacher education must be met. Students select a concentration from French, German, or Spanish.

Please see undergraduate catalog for information regarding undergraduate programs.

Admission Requirements

To be admitted to the Master of Arts in Teaching in Foreign Languages program with a French concentration, applicant must have earned at least 24 semester hours of French. Students may complete up to 6 hours of these as undergraduate hours while concurrently enrolled in the graduate program. Native speakers must consult with the graduate director regarding this requirement.

The Graduate Record Examination (GRE) is required. A combined score of 291 (current scale) or 900 (former scale) on the verbal and quantitative portions of the Graduate Record Examination is considered indicative of potential for an acceptable level of academic performance.

Application Procedures

All application materials are to be submitted to the College of Graduate Studies.

Applicant must

  1. submit an application with the appropriate application fee (online at www.mtsu.edu/graduate/apply.php);
  2. submit official scores on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE);
  3. submit two letters of reference;
  4. submit official transcripts of all previous college work.

Degree Requirements

The Master of Arts in Teaching in Foreign Languages with a concentration in French requires completion of 33 hours.

Candidate must

  1. complete a minimum of 33 semester hours including 24 hours in foreign language courses as listed below; no more than 30 percent of the total degree hours dual-listed as undergraduate/graduate hours can be counted toward the degree;
  2. complete a professional education component approved by the chair of the Educational Leadership Department;
  3. achieve an oral proficiency level in the target language (French) of at least "Advanced" and a written proficiency level of "Advanced Plus" on the ACTFL scale; students should consult the foreign languages graduate director for additional information on this requirement;
  4. demonstrate a basic reading knowledge in a language other than French; this requirement may be met by passing a foreign language reading examination or by earning a final grade of A or B (83%) in GERM 5990 or SPAN 5920 or by passing a reading examination;
  5. successfully complete a written comprehensive examination that covers language teaching methods and the language, literature, and culture of the French language (may be taken no more than twice).

Curriculum: Foreign Languages, French

 Candidate must complete 33 hours in the following course of study:

Core (6 hours)


  • FL 5500 - Introduction to Teaching Foreign Language

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate coordinator. Introduces students to a variety of approaches and methods for foreign language instruction in elementary or secondary schools.

  • FL 6990 - Internship  3 to 6 credit hours  

    FL 6990 - Internship

    3 to 6 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate coordinator. Three credits are given for a supervised teaching internship at MTSU; six credits are given for a teaching internship abroad. Under certain circumstances a self-designed, nonteaching internship may be undertaken locally or in a foreign country where the target language is spoken. Students should consult the graduate director in Foreign Languages and Literatures for details.

Concentration Core (12 hours)


  • FREN 6000 - Seminar in French Studies

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Comprehensive study of history and structure of French language; advanced stylistics leading to research project of cultural, literary, or linguistic topic.

  • 9 hours of electives in 5000- or 6000-level French courses

Guided Electives (6 hours)


  • FL 6010 - Foreign Language Acquisition: Theory and Practice

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate coordinator. Acquaints students with major theories of foreign language acquisition and various approaches to language learning.

  • FL 6700 - Introduction to Linguistics

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate coordinator. Basic concepts of linguistic analysis, which are applied to linguistic phenomena in French, German, Spanish, and English.

  • FL 6750 - Romance Linguistics

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: FL 6700, ENGL 6520, or permission of graduate coordinator. Introduces linguistic heritage of Latin as manifested in modern Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Catalan, Sardinian, and Rumanian. Earlier language stages as well as mechanisms of language evolution also examined. Knowledge of one Romance language helpful but not required.

  • FL 6800 - Instructional Technology in Foreign Language Education

    3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Permission of graduate coordinator. An introductory course with an emphasis on telecommunication and computer applications. Critical examination and evaluation of existing technologies and programs.

  • FL 6900 - Issues in Foreign Language Acquisition

    1 to 3 credit hours

    Prerequisite: Approval of graduate coordinator. Independent study to address a problem or investigate an issue agreed upon by both student and instructor. May be repeated for a maximum of 9 credits.

Professional Education Component (9 hours)

Students take 9 hours of approved Educational Leadership courses at the 6000 level (in general, SPSE, FOED and YOED), unless the candidate is choosing the licensure option. Those seeking licensure should consult an advisor.

Program Notes

Candidates for the M.A.T. with a major in Foreign Languages and a concentration in either French, German, or Spanish may choose whether or not to seek licensure to teach. The curriculum selected is based on the individual's preference and need:

  1. for those already licensed to teach in the state of Tennessee;
  2. for those who seek licensure in conjunction with the M.A.T. degree;
  3. for those who wish to pursue the degree without teacher licensure in Tennessee.

The foreign language requirement under each option is the same; candidates should consult an advisor in the Educational Leadership Department regarding the courses pertinent to their degree and career goals.

Candidate must

  1. file a degree plan in the College of Graduate Studies prior to entry into the program;
  2. file a Notice of Intent to Graduate form in the College of Graduate Studies within the first two weeks of the term in which candidate intends to graduate.