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Title:Foreign language teaching: A tale of two technical cultures
Author(s):Kleinsasser, Robert C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Rosenholtz, Susan J.
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Language and Literature
Education, Sociology of
Education, Secondary
Abstract:In broad terms the study investigated how the social organizations of schools affects and is affected by the social organizational structures within which teachers find themselves: in essence, how teachers shaped their reality. In particular this investigation was concerned with high school foreign language teachers' perceptions of their work environment; specifically how foreign language teachers in differing school contexts defined foreign language instruction and the manner in which these contextual definitions guided their classroom behavior. Relying on social organizational thought, the study uncovered high school foreign language teachers' technical culture--the processes designed to accomplish an organization's goals.
Both quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interviews and micro-ethnographic observations) data collection and analysis strategies were used to document foreign language teachers' perceptions of their environments in four middle America high schools. The workplace conditions found to enhance foreign language teachers' certainty about their technical culture included cohesive teacher collaboration, their involvement with goal-setting, evaluation, and opportunities to learn; their reception of positive feedback and involvement of parents; and their belief that language acquisition included language forms as well as language use.
Up to this time there has been little evidence concerning notions of what constitutes successful (effective) foreign language teaching. This study sheds some light on the situation. and, although the profession debates and researches various issues that deal with language learning and teaching, the organizational structure in which it takes place is rarely, if ever, investigated. Again, this study provides some initial views. In summary, the data presented here concerning high school foreign language teachers' perceptions of their social environments, garnered from not only survey and interview data, but observational data as well, provide a basic description that not only reveals teachers' perceptions of their workplace but additionally provides information that offers the basis for an expanded understanding of both second and language teacher quality and school success.
Issue Date:1989
Rights Information:Copyright 1989 Kleinsasser, Robert C.
Date Available in IDEALS:2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog:AAI8924861
OCLC Identifier:(UMI)AAI8924861

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