Spanish teachers’ perceptions about their positive impact on their students to maintain their interest

Authors

  • Comfort Pratt Texas Tech University

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.54475/jlt.2023.010

Keywords:

communicative competence, foreign language learning motivations, foreign language proficiency, maintenance of students’ interest in the target language, Spanish teachers’ perceptions

Abstract

The shortage of foreign language speakers in the United States has reached alarming levels. While Spanish is the most widely spoken and studied foreign language, it has also been experiencing low enrollments and discontinuation after a short term of study, leading to lack of acquisition of communicative competence, which is essential for fluency in the language. To that end, this mixed-method study, which forms part of a large-scale study on foreign language teachers’ perceptions, investigated Spanish teachers’ perceptions about how they determine if they successfully impact their students to maintain their interest in the language and study it long enough to acquire communicative competence. Findings revealed that the teachers believe that the factors that indicate to them that they have a positive impact on their students to maintain their interest in the language are the students’ interest in their classes and the language, their motivation toward the language, the feedback they provide, teacher–student relationships, and the students’ engagement in classroom activities and academic success. Recommended follow-up studies include an investigation of students’ perceptions to ascertain where the teachers’ and the students’ perceptions coincide and where they differ in order to ensure the successful maintenance of students’ interest in the language.

Author Biography

  • Comfort Pratt, Texas Tech University

    Dr. Comfort Pratt received her Bachelor of Arts with Honors degree in Spanish and French with a minor in linguistics at the University of Ghana, a Graduate Certificate in Translation at Complutense University in Madrid, Spain, a Master of Arts Degree in Modern Languages at Texas A&M University, and a Ph.D. in Romance Linguistics with a minor in French at Louisiana State University. She is currently an Associate Professor of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech University. Her areas of specialization are foreign language education, second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, applied linguistics, and bilingual education. She is the author of El español del noroeste de Luisiana: Pervivencia de un dialecto amenazado (2004), and In-Class Communicative Projects (2008). Her recent articles include: “Spanish Teaching Assistants’ Training, Implementation, and Beliefs About the Appropriateness of Communicative Language Teaching” (2019), “Envisioning a Future of Re-examination of Foreign Language Teacher Education” (2017), andCreencias de autoeficacia y principales desafíos docentes de profesores de español como segunda lengua” (2022).

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Published

2023-04-30

Issue

Section

Original Research

How to Cite

Pratt, C. (2023). Spanish teachers’ perceptions about their positive impact on their students to maintain their interest. Journal of Language Teaching, 3(5), 1-11. https://doi.org/10.54475/jlt.2023.010

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