Classroom Experience Prepares Maddie Kennell ’21 for Teaching Assistantship In France

Maddie Kennell ’21, a health equity major, has earned a spot in the 2021-2022 Teaching Assistant Program in France, a program of the French Ministry of National Education.
In October, she will travel to Évreux, a town in Normandy, to work until April 2022 as part of The Teaching Assistant Program in France. Recruiting and promotion are managed by the Cultural Services of the French Embassy in the United States, and the program’s goal is to strengthen English-language instruction in French schools by establishing a native speaker presence.
“As a teaching assistant for elementary school children, I will use lessons about American culture and traditions to help students learn and practice their English,” says Kennell. “The job is not limited to teaching the English language, but also assisting to provide a culturally competent socio-emotional learning environment.”

At Rhodes, courses in French language and French and francophone cultures are taught at the introductory and intermediary levels. In upper-level courses, students explore French and francophone literary texts, films, political discourse, and the media, while honing and enhancing linguistic skills and critical thinking.

“In addition to learning grammar and vocabulary, studying French at Rhodes has helped me to learn about the history, culture, politics, and life in France that I know will help me be a good teacher,” says Kennell. “I am also more familiar with their educational system, the current political climate, and values of the French Republic.” 
Next year, Kennell plans to take classes online and begin applying to medical schools. “I’m very interested in working in medicine overseas one day, and so this teaching assistantship will be a great opportunity to experience working in a multi-cultural and multi-lingual environment.”