French major Shelby Boling is going to be a French immersion teacher
“I think the French program at UL Lafayette is in a unique position that no other American university can quite match. We, as French-learning students, have access to a unique kind of French that is spoken nowhere else in the world.”
- Covington, La.
Where I'm From
I’m from Covington, La., where I found a love for the French language.
Where I Am
I’m a 2020 graduate going into an education graduate program at UL Lafayette.
Where I'm Going
I’m going to be a teacher in a French immersion setting.
Shelby Boling found her passion for the French language while she was in high school. She decided to follow that passion to UL Lafayette.
“When I started to study French in high school, I discovered a passion in myself that I didn’t know existed,” she said. “Quickly, I became attached to this language that felt so natural to speak!
“Consequently, I was motivated to make this love for the French language into a career for myself,” she said. “I also became more interested in the declining state of French in Louisiana and the efforts to preserve it. I thought UL Lafayette would be the perfect institution to help me realize my ambitions.”
Shelby’s expectations were met in the Department of Modern Languages.
“I think the French program at UL Lafayette is in a unique position that no other American university can quite match,” she said. “We, as French-learning students, have access to a unique kind of French that is spoken nowhere else in the world.
“I think the opportunities to learn about Louisiana French and speak Louisiana French with natives is a quality that no other university can achieve,” she said. “This facet of the French program was definitively one that I highly valued.”
Enhancing her French Degree
As someone with many interests, Shelby has also earned credit toward two minors: art history and medieval and early modern studies.
“If French was my first love, art history was my second,” she said. “I think that to study art history is to attempt to understand how the events of history affected people, the way they think, and ultimately the way they express themselves. This concept is something that is wholly appealing to me.
“As for the medieval and early modern studies minor,” she said, “that is another one of my special interests.
“I think people of the Middle Ages can sometimes be more easily likened to the modern person than, perhaps, people think,” she said. “My first semester at UL Lafayette I took the UNIV 100 course, Women in Medieval France. It really unlocked for me a new perspective on a time period that is very often misunderstood.
“It is essential to look to the Medieval period when trying to understand the evolution and origins of the French language,” she said. “This minor was very complementary to my major.”
“I would say these two minors helped me understand something fundamental about how people work,” she said, “which is a skill I value highly and will utilize in my career as a teacher.”
Preparing for a Career in French Immersion
Shelby will go right into her master’s program once she graduates. She chose to continue her studies with UL Lafayette’s Master of Arts in Teaching degree with a concentration in French immersion, which will give her the qualifications to teach French immersion in public and private schools.
The Department of Modern Languages and the University’s culture as a whole have prepared Shelby for her future career.
“Besides providing me with the education that I need to achieve my goals, I’ve also learned how to work with people more effectively,” she said. “I’ve learned to work in a team, how to manage a group of people, and how to be understood.
“There’s a real invaluable skill of communication that can be developed through a university experience like the one I’ve had,” she said.