Teacher perception of classroom activity as viewed from some foreign language classrooms in Pennsylvania

John Bronnie Melesky, University of Pennsylvania


The search for more effective ways of teaching and learning in education should be a continuous one. Recent efforts to improve education have suggested that the classroom teacher is critical to this process. It seems reasonable to suggest that teachers' ideas about, or perceptions of, education would be a profitable area to examine. This study involves eight experienced foreign language teachers in Pennsylvania, and it examines their perceptions regarding classroom activities. In effect, the focus is on what these teachers report that they do regarding classroom activities and the reasons they report for doing them. Target language (the foreign language being taught) speaking is the initial thrust of this investigation of classroom activity, but the lens widens as this qualitative study continues and evolves. The investigative method involves both questionnaires and interviews, occurring in three separate stages of inquiry. The results of the study identify seven factors that may affect teacher perception of classroom activity: school/departmental policy; information from literature/conferences; student behavior; gender; the publisher's text and accompanying program; colleagues; and the individual teacher's own experience. The results indicate that teacher experience is the factor most often mentioned by our respondents in selecting classroom activities. Our conclusions suggest that teacher experience may involve various elements, including some which were not reported by our respondents.

Subject Area

Curricula|Teaching|Language arts

Recommended Citation

Melesky, John Bronnie, "Teacher perception of classroom activity as viewed from some foreign language classrooms in Pennsylvania" (1996). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI9639692.