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Abstract  This article presents and discusses an observational system that discriminates between personal and impersonal (or neutral) verbal behavior of teachers and students in the foreign language classroom, ascertains the usability of the instrument for the collection of data on the nature of such interactions, determines the extent to which two groups of teachers at two large state universities are personalizing their classroom environment, and reports on preliminary findings on the relationship of these in-class behavior variables and the perceptions of teacher effectiveness by both supervisors and students. Results obtained in the two studies indicate that teacher effectiveness ratings obtained from supervisors and students are significantly correlated with the degree to which verbal interactions in the language classroom are personalized.