Attitudes of Students of French Toward Required Language Study1


  • Joseph Morello

    1. The University of Rhode Island
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      Joseph Morello (Ph. D., University of Missouri) is Associate Professor of French at the University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI.

  • 1

    I would like to acknowledge the help of Prof. Sharon Rossi who at the time of this study was in the Department of Speech Communication at the University of Rhde Island. Her expertise in survey design and statistical analysis was essential to this work. Ms. Rossi is currently Research Analyst for Cambridge Reports, Cambridge, MA.


ABSTRACT  The goal of this study is to examine the attitude of students who were about to complete the final course of their language requirement in order to determine their perception of the total requirement experience. The investigation focused on three areas: 1) whether or not students considered the language requirement a worthwhile experience, 2) whether or not their attitude toward the language requirement had improved during the time they spent in required courses, and 3) their attitude toward foreign language study as a part of a university curriculum. The results revealed that students have a much more positive attitude toward required language study than is generally believed and that a critical factor in this determination is their perception of their own progress toward mastery of the language. The majority of students also reported that their attitude toward the language requirement had improved during the time they had spent in required courses. Finally, students expressed a surprisingly strong conviction that the study of a foreign language should be a required part of a university education.