Meeting Professional Language Standards in the FL Classroom in Trinidad and Tobago
This paper examines the notion of linguistic competence within the context of developing professional standards for foreign language teachers. It focuses on specific language deficiencies recorded during observation of Spanish teachers in the classroom, and provides an initial indication of the need to provide some degree of structured support for competence enhancement in the foreign language. The observation is made that whereas FL teachers may have "latent" knowledge of some fundamental lexical and semantic areas of the language, this knowledge does not always translate into appropriate application. Essentially, the role of the FL teacher as model, resource, and inspirer is diminished when the language used in the classroom shows hesitation, insecurity, inaccuracy, and lack of practice. Finally, some suggestions are made about how teachers can access opportunities for improving their proficiency in the foreign language, at both the personal and the policy level.
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