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Immersion teachers hard to find.

April 17, 2012

Calgary school board recruiters head to Spain on hiring spree

French, Spanish and Mandarin teachers in demand



University of Calgary Education student Gabrielle Lyons will finish her French immersion teaching degree in the coming weeks at the University of Calgary. She has already secured a job teaching in Jasper.

CALGARY — In a couple weeks, two recruiters from the city’s public school board will fly to Madrid, on the tab of the Spanish government, where they hope to hand-pick 20 teachers to work in Calgary’s bilingual program.

A cross-Atlantic trip is an extraordinary measure to find fresh blood. But it shows the increasing reach of aggressive recruitment efforts taken by Alberta school boards facing a dearth of locally grown teachers who can instruct in a second language.

With Alberta universities unable to graduate enough to fill demand, French immersion, Spanish bilingual and Mandarin speakers have become a hot commodity.

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