Year of Publication

2014

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

College

Education

Department

Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Sharon Brennan

Second Advisor

Dr. Sadia Zoubir-Shaw

Abstract

Since the inception of the Kentucky Educational Reform Act in 1990, Kentucky has undergone numerous educational changes. Regarding world languages, recent changes include a new state World Language Standard, a K-12 world language program review, and university language proficiency entrance requirements. These changes create an interesting context in which world language educators negotiate their perceptions and pedagogical choices. This study explored the perceptions, influences, and pedagogical choices of one Kentucky world language educator regarding language proficiency and cultural tools of context, standards and assessments. A constructivist framework guided the case study design. Data collection included interviews, observations, and artifact collection and data analyses followed the comparative analysis process (Yin, 1994; Merriam, 1998). Findings suggest that the participant's perceptions of language proficiency reflect characteristics of the communicative competence language proficiency model of Uso-Juan and Martinez-Flor (2008). In addition, the participant's pedagogical choices regarding context, standards and assessments reflect organizational, policy, and personal influences (Grant, 2003) and characteristics of mediated action (Wertsch, 1998). This study highlights the importance of understanding world language educators' perceptions during a time of contextual change and the need for professional development supporting educators’ pedagogical choices.

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