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In the News: First cohort of Hmong language teachers in Minnesota accredited at Concordia

Before Concordia's master’s program, there was no language licensing program for teaching the Hmong language. The program combines online coursework with a summer intensive at the world-renowned Concordia Language Villages.

by Deanna Pistono, MinnPost

“Hmong is a stateless nation,” said Bee Vang-Moua, director of the Hmong program at the University of Minnesota’s Asian and Middle Eastern Studies Department. “There’s no Hmong land. We have a community in diaspora and to utilize language, to get to proficiency, to understand Hmong heritage and culture, is to truly understand oneself.”

Vang-Moua has been the director of the Hmong program at the University of Minnesota for 16 years, throughout which she has trained Hmong language teachers. She received her master’s degree last month — a Masters of Education in World Language Instruction plus Minnesota Teaching Licensure Program from Concordia College in Moorhead. This program utilized a Hmong teaching curriculum developed by Minnesota Zej Zog (MZZ), an organization focused around empowering the Hmong community, with the Hmong licensure pathway itself supported by a grant from the Minnesota Professional Educator Licensing and Standards Board. 

“They (MZZ) contacted me about a path to licensure because we had added licensure to our Master of Education and World Language Instruction program,” said Cassandra Glynn, Ph.D., director of graduate programs in education at Concordia. “We added a pathway through that program, so they could work with us to license teachers that already had a license in another area, or needed an initial licensure in order to be able to teach Hmong in their schools and keep their heritage language programs going.”