MA in Foreign Languages

Lauren Saravia

Lauren Saravia

Lauren has been a language teacher with Spotsylvania County Public Schools since 2006, as an ESOL teacher for 11 years until becoming a Spanish teacher in 2017. She joined George Mason as a graduate student in Fall 2023. She is pursuing a Master of Arts in Foreign Language with a concentration in Spanish, as well as the Graduate Certificate in Spanish Heritage Language Education. 

As her school community’s Spanish-speaking student population grows, Lauren is committed to enhancing her school’s Heritage Spanish program, putting into practice what she is learning at Mason to benefit her students, as well as sharing her new knowledge with colleagues by leading professional development sessions and organizing a professional learning community.

We asked Lauren a few questions about her experience in the program.

Why did you choose Mason?

When I decided I wanted to pursue my Masters in Spanish, I found many online programs, but Mason stood out because of the personal touch. I sent an email, and heard right back from the program director. She had a personal meeting with me, to talk about my background, goals and interests. Because of her genuine enthusiasm for the program and the way she listened to me, I immediately felt connected with the community. 

What do you like best about the program?

My favorite part of the program is the professors. They are leaders in the field of Heritage Education,sharing exciting and relevant ideas through challenging and engaging lessons. They get to know their students, provide meaningful feedback, and cheer us on as we pursue our professional and academic goals. My professors have helped me see my own strengths. Even as an online student, I feel so connected with my professors and classmates in our online Mason community.

Do you have any advice for prospective students?

My advice is that if you are a language teacher and are interested in learning how to better serve heritage students, this is the program you’ve been looking for. The students and professors in the SHLE certificate program form a supportive community that will help you better understand heritage language learners and meet their needs.