Teachers’ Oral Proficiency in the Target Language: Research on Its Role in Language Teaching and Learning



In the past decade, the foreign language (FL) profession has established standards for beginning language teachers that are used by accrediting agencies and state licensing agencies to make decisions regarding teacher preparation program recognition and teacher certification. Among these expectations is the requirement that beginning teachers demonstrate a minimum level of Advanced-Low on the ACTFL Proficiency Guidelines for Speaking. Consequently, the role that teachers’ oral proficiency in the target language (TL) plays in classroom instruction has become a critical issue in the field of FL education. This review presents current research related to teachers’ TL proficiency and its impact on classroom practices, teacher effectiveness, and student learning. The article raises questions that merit investigation in future research as it strives to clarify the role that teacher TL proficiency plays in classroom instruction and learning of the TL.