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An Assessment of Attitudes and Behaviors of Foreign Language Teachers


  • Anthony Papalia

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      Anthony Papalia (Ed.D., University of Buffalo) is Director of Foreign Language Education, State University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York.


ABSTRACT  The aim of this study was to identify what foreign language teachers believe are true characteristics of students and to provide empirical evidence about teachers' classroom behaviors as they relate to the teaching-learning process. Nine secondary schools situated in urban and suburban communities participated in the study. All foreign language teachers of the participating schools and 1,046 of their randomly selected students were surveyed by means of the Minnesota Teacher Attitude Inventory and the Teacher Description Instrument.

Teachers of foreign languages manifested, in varying degrees, supportive attitudes toward pupils. They favored students' self-motivation and open interaction in the classroom, and they cautiously moved toward a student-centered concept of instruction. Students, in identifying and rating their teachers' classroom behaviors, confirmed that foreign language teachers displayed student-centered classroom behaviors and that they actualized learning by being sensitive to the needs and abilities of students.