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95 teachers from across the world are here to help students succeed in a global market

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BATON ROUGE - The capital city is welcoming almost 100 new teachers from forty-six different countries. Those teachers will head into classrooms in Baton Rouge and throughout the state this upcoming school year.

The International Associates Program works through the Department of Education in conjunction with the Council for the Development of French. This year, they scouted 95 teachers from across the world. After working with each country on approval, they are now here in the city of Baton Rouge.

Over the past week, the educators from abroad have been learning about the culture here in Louisiana — everything from weather, history, food and more. All this is in preparation for teaching youth about cultures from around the world. Part of that is through the power of language immersion, but officials with the Department of Education say it goes further than teaching the language itself. 

Michele Braud is a World Languages Specialist, and she explains IAP as an exchange. While teachers instruct in languages from Spanish, French, Mandarin and beyond, in a sense, they're taking these students to their own countries — not physically, but mentally. The program also allows students to pen pal with foreign students, giving them connections in their teacher's home country. 

Part of their goal, Sharon Necaise with the Department of Education says, is giving students the skills and resources they need to succeed in a global market.

The new teachers they've welcomed this year now take the program to a total of 300 teachers from across the world, right here in the state of Louisiana. In total, around 5,500 students are in the language immersion program.

In East Baton Rouge, there are 14 CODOFIL international associate teachers who are from Belgium, Cameroun, France, Mexico and Spain who will be teaching in elementary and middle schools.

While part of the program is welcoming new cultures, Necaise says it's also about resurging our history and the prevalence of the French language in the state.

For more details on the program and its impact, take a read on this supporting document

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