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But can they speak? What practices inhibit or encourage development of oral proficiency in the secondary foreign language classroom?

14 December 1992


The purpose of this study is to look at various methods that have been used or are currently being used to teach foreign languages and to assess whether secondary foreign language students are being given the chance to increase their oral proficiency in a language other than their native one. It is my belief that students must not only be able to say "si" or "no" when asked a simple question, but they must be able to elaborate on that answer. Memorization of a simple dialog to perform between students does not equal oral proficiency, but the ability to talk about abstract ideas, relate the past to the future, and express opinions, does. My focal question for the research I conducted is this: What opportunities are secondary foreign language students being given to improve their oral proficiency skills? In order to answer such a question, there are two other areas that are given careful study as well: Are exercises presented . for reaching such a goal as oral proficiency? Do classroom management problems hinder the use of verbal exercises?


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