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Keywords:

  • action research;
  • input;
  • mentoring;
  • student teachers;
  • target language;
  • Spanish;
  • relevant to all languages

Abstract: Although the language teaching profession has long emphasized the use of the target language in the classroom, student teachers face various challenges in their efforts to conduct class in their target language. This case study focused on 10 student teachers with respect to (1) their initial attitudes and beliefs about using the target language, (2) the extent to which they felt the target language could be used in specific activities, (3) the factors that affected their decisions regarding target language use, and (4) how their attitudes toward target language use evolved and changed during their student teaching. Sources of information included pre- and postquestionnaires, journal entries, and observations of student teachers' classes. Themes that emerged from student teachers' experiences are discussed, as well as possible implications for language teacher education.