Job Title: Richter Scholarship Program
Current City: Paris, France
Rebekah Bray taught two years at an inner city charter school in Washington, D.C., before entering the Master’s in Education program in French education. After graduation, she will be studying in Paris through the Richter Scholarship program and then going to Cote d’Ivoire (the Ivory Coast), in West Africa, to teach French to missionaries so they can communicate with the local people.
Why did you choose Wake Forest for your graduate education?
The foreign-language community is filled with people who are ready to help each other, to advocate nationally for our programs, and to produce proficient speakers of other languages. Through a series of happenstance relationships begun at a regional conference, I was introduced to the program. I did my research and found that Wake Forest has the best program in the country for foreign language education. Having had a large-school, urban experience for my undergraduate education, there were many changes to adapt to at Wake Forest, but I have enjoyed the smaller classes and the availability of professors outside of class.
What are your plans after graduation?
After the semester concludes, I’ll spend three weeks in Paris, as I finish the branch study of my research project through the Richter Scholarship, followed by a month of summer school. Then, I’m off to Cote d’Ivoire, where I’m excited to combine my new knowledge in French education with my passions for faith, music, hospitality and leadership. After my mission work in Africa, I intend to return and teach French at the high-school level in Washington, D.C., where I can advocate for articulated programs in foreign language.
Who has influenced you the most?
Professor of Education Mary Lynn Redmond has been the biggest source of inspiration and encouragement. She has high expectations for all of her students, as she relentlessly takes us through the learning curve. There is so much to learn in such a short year of graduate school, but she does her best to keep us abreast of current events in foreign language education as well as mold us into reflective teacher leaders.
Did you have the opportunity to conduct research?
I talked with local teachers and those influential in the foreign language education field for a comprehensive look at what schools are doing to improve foreign language skills for students. Though I published the article in the fall, I was able to explore leadership in foreign language education this spring. This was a terrific capstone project that enabled me to work with the excellent articulated foreign language program in Winston-Salem. Recently, I was awarded a Richter Scholarship to do a second branch study of how articulation of English as a foreign language is implemented in France. As a result of conducting research, my writing skills and my ability to think critically and reflect on what I’ve learned have improved.