Attitudes of Elementary School Principals Toward Foreign Language Instruction


  • William A. Baranick,

    1. Oakview Elementary School
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      William A. Baranick (Ed.D., University of Maryland) is a principal at Oakview Elementary in Kensington, MD.

  • Paul L. Markham

    1. University of Maryland
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      Paul L. Markham (Ph.D., Ohio State University) is Assistant Professor of Foreign Language Education/TESOL at the University of Maryland, College Park, MD.


ABSTRACT  The goal of this study was to examine the attitudes of elementary school principals toward foreign language programs at the elementary school level. The investigation focused on three topics: 1) examining the attitude of elementary principals concerning the addition of a foreign language program to the present curriculum, 2) studying differences in principals' attitudes toward foreign language programs based on school factors such as the socioeconomic status of the community, student achievement level, school locale, and the education level of the parents, and 3) comparing principals' attitudes about a foreign language program with their background and training in foreign languages.

The results revealed that more than half of the principals believed that the elementary curriculum should contain a foreign language program; however, many principals indicated that implementing a foreign language program was not high on their priority list. The majority of the respondents maintained that foreign language instruction should be required at some time during a student's school experience. The data also suggested that whenever parents, teachers, students, and other administrators increase their interest in foreign languages, the attitude of principals becomes more positive.