Lexington, Virginia • May 24, 2010
Two Washington and Lee University seniors - Stephanie Dultz of Chester, N.J., and Grace Wang of Richmond, Va., - have been awarded teaching assistantships through the French Ministry of Education and the Cultural Services at the French Embassy and will teach English in France next year.
Dultz will be located in Nancy-Metz in the Lorraine region in northeast France. She does not yet know whether she will be teaching secondary or primary schoolchildren.
Wang is awaiting her specific placement, which will be in the southeastern suburbs of Paris, and doesn't yet know the ages of the children she will be teaching.
The students received their assistantships through the joint initiative between the Embassy of France and the French Ministry of Education. The program aims to strength English-language instruction in the French educational system throughout the establishment of a native speaker presence. It also provides future teachers of French in the United States with excellent teaching experience and first-hand knowledge of the French language and culture.
Dultz, a French and sociology and anthropology double major, intends to go on to graduate school eventually and to pursue her goal of becoming a French professor. She said the teaching assistantship was the perfect program to fill the gap before continuing her education.
Dultz has studied French for 10 years and has visited France several times, including studying abroad in Avignon in the southeast of France during her time at W&L. "I love exploring different regions in France. I haven't been to the northeast yet so that was my top choice when I applied," she said.
"I'm looking forward to immersing myself in the country and its language. I really think this is the best way to learn French and pick up colloquialisms," she added. "I also really like working with children so this will give more teaching experience. I'm excited to learn from the students how they view American culture. I want to share our diverse opinions, see what sort of things we have in common and really get to know French students well."
Dultz said that her advisor John Lambeth, associate professor of Romance languages, helped her with her application. "Both he and Professor Domnica Radulescu (professor of Romance languages) have been really helpful and encouraged me to continue my studies and follow my passion," she said.
Lambeth said he was pleased that Dultz was accepted. "It is a wonderful opportunity for her. Stephanie was a terrific student in our classes and very involved in campus activities. She will be a wonderful asset for the English teachers and the students at her school in France," he said.
Wang, a biology major, said that French has always been her passion since she started studying the language in sixth grade through the International Baccalaureate program. "I'm thrilled because I've always dreamed of living in France for an extended period of time," she said. "This is my opportunity to finally achieve fluency. Living and working in Paris, I'm sure I will start thinking and dreaming in French in no time. I'm excited to meet as many people as possible and embrace the French lifestyle."
Wang added that Domnica Radulescu, professor of Romance languages, was very supportive in the application process and wrote one of her recommendations for the program. "I had the privilege of taking two French classes with Professor Radulescu," said Wang, "and I've always gone to her to talk about the possibility of spending a year in France."
Radulescu pointed out that Wang is fluent in Mandarin Chinese and French as well English. "She has travelled to and been part of different countries and cultural experiences," said Radulescu. "Grace offers the ideal example of an extremely well rounded individual and the promise of a first class professional at ease in the widest and most diverse of human and cultural contexts."
After her time in France, Wang plans to attend medical school and eventually join Doctors Without Borders. "I hope that honing my French language skills will be useful in attaining that goal," she said.