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French, Spanish Education alum’s languages useful in many different careers

Audrey Irias poses for selfie

Illinois State alumna Audrey (Yates) Irias ’05.

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.

Señor Pancrazio also challenged my way of thinking about the world. I continue to talk with him and Madame Mitchell today.”

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