Description of the program

The Master of Arts for Teachers (M.A.T.) in Spanish is a program designed for an individual 1) who already holds a standard license to teach Spanish or 2) who holds a certificate of eligibility (or equivalent) to teach Spanish while working toward licensure. The program can be completed online or in a combination of course platforms – online, hybrid, on-campus, and/or summer study abroad program in Spain and Peru; such offerings allow flexibility in course planning, life demands, personal preference, and program completion timeframe. Online courses are offered year-round, and on-campus and/or hybrid courses are held during summer sessions through the World Languages Institute (WLI) of The Language Center (TLC) in the Language Laboratory Building (LLB) on the College Avenue Campus (CAC) of New Brunswick.

Goals for the program

The goals for M.A.T. in Spanish at Rutgers New Brunswick reflect expectations of what students will be able to do or for which they will have proficiency at the completion of the degree program:

  • incorporate ideas and teaching experiences from their K-12 colleagues and instructors in the program;
  • increase their knowledge of teaching methodology and show a command of second language acquisition theories via the capstone portfolio presentation;
  • enhance their written and verbal skills in Spanish;
  • understand state and ACTFL standards for language learning;
  • develop thematic units of age-appropriate classroom materials while paying special attention to learning styles and variations in the population;
  • demonstrate a deeper understanding of literary devices, cultural mores, and linguistic variation in the Spanish-speaking world;
  • recognize the value of Spanish-speaking students in their classrooms and learn techniques for training that language-advantaged population while understanding the possible lacunae in their knowledge;
  • learn how to incorporate the latest technology into their classes;
  • serve as point person from improving teaching standards in the school and/or district. 

Assessment of the goals of the program

Students will be assessed on the achieving of these goals especially during the preparation of the capstone portfolio.

Each student will prepare a teaching portfolio, a three-credit individual project that is to be completed and presented to a two-person committee during the year following the completion of the twenty-seven credits of course work. The student will select a portfolio director, specifically a professor with whom the student has taken courses at Rutgers, and in consultation with that director, choose another of the student’s professors or a pedagogy expert associated with the WLI core program, in order to form a two-person portfolio committee. The portfolio may be presented in person or via appropriate electronic means acceptable to all parties.

The portfolio will consist of four (4) thematic units of ten (10) lessons each based on the communicative approach. It will reflect the student’s own individual teaching situation as well as the application of theory and practice from the twenty-seven credits of course work; furthermore, it will be a compendium of documents, lesson plans, realia, and supplementary teaching materials pertinent to the work situation (teaching level [kindergarten, primary, middle, secondary], class focus, and particular school district).

Two (2) of the four (4) units of the portfolio are to be based on the textbook and teaching situation of the particular student. The other two units should develop age- and grade-appropriate materials that would be the ideal or of particular preference of the student, and do not necessarily reflect the textbook, ideology, and any limitations or restrictions imposed by a school or district curriculum. It is perfectly acceptable, indeed encouraged, to utilize and expand on the portfolio materials that were created as final projects in the courses that the student took during enrollment.

The portfolio should contain an introduction, in which the student provides 1) background information in regard to the type of student taught, 2) the district for which the portfolio was prepared, and 3) the overall organization and logic of the units that are included. All units should contain a web of interrelated ideas and reflect a knowledge and direct application of ACTFL and other national standards for foreign language learning; these standards should be applied not only in the construction of the units and the individual lessons within the units, but also in the assessment tools that accompany each unit. Special attention is to be paid to the different learning styles of individual students, which should be reflected in the individual lesson plans.

After the portfolio director has approved the final version, the student will be required to make a presentation of the project before the two-person committee. For the presentation, which lasts approximately one hour including questions, the student is encouraged to make use of props or technological aids that will demonstrate a facility with the communicative method and the aforementioned standards.