Application for student teaching must be completed the year before. If you are going to spend your junior year abroad or one of your junior semesters abroad, you must begin the application process before leaving campus your sophomore year. A cooperating teacher in foreign language will expect the pre-service teacher to possess specific skills upon entering the student teaching experience. First is fluency in the target language. The student should be able to speak the language with a minimum of errors, without significant pauses, for extended periods of time. The student should also be familiar with the culture of the target language, not only literature and history, but popular culture, everyday life, and current events. Knowledge of a number of current teaching methods is also expected, along with the flexibility to adapt to the cooperating teacher's preferred classroom techniques.
In addition, the pre-service teacher will need to demonstrate an understanding of learning styles and age-appropriate activities for a diverse student population. Most importantly, but nearly impossible to measure, is the fundamental desire to share the language with students. Teaching also requires self-discipline, compassion, and the self-confidence to persevere when students complain or criticize. The cooperating teacher will assist the pre-service teacher to grow professionally, but he/she will need to bring a commitment to teaching and a love of the target language to the experience.