School of Education


Doctor of Education in Curriculum & Instruction (EdD)


Grania Holman


High School, Student Perceptions, Teacher Perceptions, Effective Language Teaching Practices, Case Study




The influence of globalization on today’s society has propagated an increasing need for individuals who are able to communicate in languages other than English. However, while a large percentage of high school students recognize the importance of a second language (L2) for future jobs, only a very small percentage of students pursue advanced language study at universities, an aspect that may be due to disparate notions about effective foreign language teaching practices. The purpose of this collective instrumental case study was to understand the perceptions of effective language teaching practices for high school language students and teachers at two independent schools in South Carolina and one independent school in Florida. The theories guiding this study were Krashen’s input hypothesis (1982), VanPatten’s input hypothesis theory (2004), and Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory of learning (1987) as these are the three main second language acquisition theories that have guided current practices in second language learning pedagogy, and thus, agreement or disagreement with certain practices indicates support or rejection of guiding theories in second language learning. The central research question for this study was: How do high school world language teachers and high school world language students perceive effective language teaching practices? Data collection included classroom observations, teacher and student interviews, and documents related to the language program philosophy and practices. Data analysis included rich descriptions and direct interpretation and categorical aggregation through coding of classroom observations, interviews, and documents. The two major themes that emerged dealt with input and how input leads to better student output or language production.

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