ERIC Number: EJ1102126
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Abstractor: As Provided
Military and Civilian L2 Instructors: Decoding Perceptions of U.S. Service Academy Cadets
Miller, Zachary F.
Applied Language Learning, v26 n2 p25-52 2016
This study examined whether cadets at a U.S. service academy perceived attitudinal differences toward their military and civilian L2 instructors along three variables: foreign language expertise, communicative anxiety, and relatability. Cadets' proficiency levels (divided by beginning and intermediate classes) and current instructor (civilian or military) were also analyzed to determine their bearing on the perception data. Beginning and intermediate learners of Arabic, French, German, Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish (n=267) completed an instructor perception questionnaire and volunteer students (n=9) participated in group interviews to provide opinions of the two instructor types. Descriptive statistics indicated that cadets viewed civilian instructors as more knowledgeable in foreign languages, whereas military instructors as more relatable. Ratings for communicative anxiety were evenly spread between the two groups. Separate two-factor, between groups ANOVAs revealed significant differences between the two language level groups (beginning and intermediate) with respect to expertise and anxiety, but not for relatability. Current instructor (civilian or military) was not found to influence opinions. Interview data, while providing nuanced perspectives, generally aligned with the quantitative results. Findings from this study can help service academy L2 instructors modify their teaching approaches to better enhance foreign language achievement in the classroom. Team-teaching between the two instructor types is also viewed as a helpful pedagogical strategy. Lastly, the data provide insight into important topics in second language acquisition within the military community.
Descriptors: Military Personnel, Second Language Learning, Second Language Instruction, Statistical Analysis, Language Teachers, German, Russian, Portuguese, Spanish, Interviews, Communication (Thought Transfer), Anxiety, Language Proficiency, Student Attitudes, Adult Students, Teacher Student Relationship, Teaching Methods, Team Teaching, Questionnaires, Military Training
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Adult Education
Authoring Institution: N/A