Electronic Theses and Dissertations

Identifier

4832

Date

2016

Date of Award

11-30-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Major

Instr and Curr Leadership

Concentration

Instruction and Curriculum

Committee Chair

Deborah Lowther

Committee Member

Carmen Weaver

Committee Member

Fatima Nogueira

Committee Member

Melanie R. Conroy

Abstract

This study examined the extend to which foreign language faculty's beliefs about learning languages were consistent with their instructional practices, as guided by four research questions: 1) What are faculty pedagogical beliefs regarding the importance of teaching higher education foreign language courses based on the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages (ACTFL Standards)? 2) What are faculty pedagogical practices regarding teaching higher education foreign language courses based on the ACTFL Standards? 3) In what ways, if any, are there variations between faculty beliefs and practices regarding teaching higher education foreign language courses based on the ACTFL Standards? 4) What do faculty report as key benefits and challenges to implementing the ACTFL Standards when teaching higher education foreign language courses? Quantitative data were collected from 59 foreign language faculty members at one university, and members from two foreign language organizations (ACTFL; SCOLT).Results suggest faculty believed the ACTFL Standards were important and beneficial with regards to providing guidelines for teaching a foreign language, preparing student as global citizens, and introducing cultures. However, findings also revealed significant differences between faculty beliefs and self-reported practices of including ACTFL activities. Specifically, activities rated as very important were included with moderate frequency. The faculty identified key challenges are possible reasons for these differences: not knowing how to apply the standards, lack of time to modify existing foreign language materials, and lack of student motivation due to foreign language being a required course. Faculty expressed a need for training on how to integrate student activities that are based on ACTFL Standards. ACTFL standards related to the use of technology for language learning were rated as moderately important and were infrequently included in foreign language instruction. This was also an area for which some faculty reported a need for training to better understand how technology can enhance language training. Another area of importance that emerged from the findings were the perceptions of some faculty that the World-Readiness Standards for Learning Languages, or overall standards in general, are more of an inhibitor than a facilitator of effective language learning.

Comments

Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.

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