Opinions of University Students About Language Teaching


  • John L. Walker

  • John L. Walker (Ph.D., University of California, Los Angeles) is Assistant Professor of Modern Languages, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, Texas.


ABSTRACT  University language students, writing in the essay portion of a recent departmental opinion questionnaire, clearly indicate that they wish more speaking practice and less ritualized grammar in their language training. Rather than studying language as if it were a museum exhibit under glass, they prefer experiencing its live, practical aspects in such a way that they can gain mastery over a central core of high-frequency usage for their daily use. They also want professors who are willing to teach living language and who are enough interested in their students to use many different media in conducting this exploration of knowledge with them. The students themselves devise a list of good language-teaching ideas for the resourceful teacher. These opinions are not frivolous; they are honest attempts at communication between student and teacher and provide clues to the language-training needs of today's students.