An update from Audrey (Yates) Irias ’05, who earned her B.A. in French and Spanish Teacher Education at Illinois State.
After several positions teaching English, being a bilingual teacher and teaching French and Spanish, Irias is now a product developer/project manager at Teachers Discovery. She also translates on the side.
“I started learning languages at a young age, because my extended relatives lived in Puerto Rico. I added French when I was 16 and decided to major in both in college. I was fortunate to study at L’Université Catholique de l’Ouest in fall 2002 in Angers, France, before I studied at La Universidad Complutense de Madrid in Spain the following semester.
I taught as an undergraduate TA at the English Language Institute at ISU upon return—besides working as a resident assistant and night security guard! I was inducted into both Pi Delta Phi and Sigma Delta Pi, the respective honor language fraternity for each prior to graduating with both a Spanish Education and French Education major, and a Teaching English as a Second Language Minor, from Illinois State University in 2005.
Since then, I have taught since January 2006. I started as a full-time substitute in Chicago, then a bilingual kindergarten teacher, before fall 2006, when I began my career teaching Spanish and French. I have subsequently taught 10 years Spanish 1-3, Spanish for Spanish Speakers and French 1-AP.
I have been able to take students abroad twice since graduation. Last summer we went to Paris, the Loire Valley, Normandy and London. Those are memories that cannot be compared.
I obtained my M.A. degree from University of Illinois in Translation and Interpretation in May 2016 and am starting a side business as a translator. I currently work as a product developer/project manager at Teachers Discovery, creating products for world language teachers throughout the United States and Canada.
I currently live in Michigan with my husband (from Honduras!) and little daughter.
The Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures helped me develop my language skills immensely, especially. I adored our weekly Cercle Français, where we would talk in French and eat des petits biscuits. I very much appreciated Madame Mitchell and Monsieur Petrossian.