In this Oct. 20, 2021, file photo, Caribou French and Spanish teacher Jonna Bouré poses with Boston's French consulate K-12 coordinator Noah Ouellette during his visit to Caribou High School. Credit: Courtesy of Jonna Bouré

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In response to Hannah Catlin’s article in the BDN on Oct. 25  regarding the effort to give new life to French in the state through immersion programs in schools: As the grandson of French speakers and a teacher of French myself, I was glad to see coverage on this underreported issue.

It is indeed critically important for Maine schools, especially those in traditionally Francophone areas of the state like the St. John Valley, to act quickly to preserve what is left of our linguistic heritage. As the article suggests, opportunities for funding from the French government and other entities are available and should be taken advantage of.

However, I feel compelled to respond to the oft-repeated claim, also echoed in the article, that Maine faces a critical shortage of language teachers. In fact, when one examines job postings for world language teachers in the state, there are only a handful of openings in any given year. A large percentage of these are part-time positions, and many are clustered in southern Maine. It seems only a matter of common sense, then, that we are not facing a teacher shortage per se. Rather, there is a distinct lack of funding for world languages at all levels.

When school districts are able to prioritize and seek out full-time funding for their language programs, they should find that the staffing problem is resolved.

Jason Moreau