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There are many compelling reasons for introducing foreign language study at the middle school level. Adolescents are initiating new and higher levels of cognitive processing, their curiosity is high, and they are concerned with intellectual, philosophical, biological, sociological, moral, and ethical issues. A survey of 82 middle school foreign language programs in Georgia investigated the characteristics of the schools, program teachers and administrators, program design and content, language enrollment as a percentage of overall enrollment, instructional materials, curriculum design and emphases, and grading practices. Analysis of survey responses by school principals and program teachers revealed the following: a high percentage of teachers had specialist degrees (unspecified); many teachers had substantial years of experience; the most common program design is exploratory instruction for 6 weeks; while many programs report using texts, these are most likely high school texts, which may be inappropriate; it appears that many teachers write the curricula themselves; and language learning expectations are high despite short time periods assigned to language study. Compiled responses are presented and the 21-item questionnaire is appended. (MSE)

Descriptors: Adolescents, Course Organization, Curriculum Design, Elementary School Students, Grading, Instructional Materials, Intermediate Grades, Introductory Courses, Junior High School Students, Junior High Schools, Language Enrollment, Language Teachers, Learning Readiness, Middle School Students, Middle Schools, Program Design, Questionnaires, Second Language Instruction, Second Language Programs, State Surveys, Student Characteristics, Teacher Characteristics, Teacher Qualifications, Teacher Responsibility, Time Factors (Learning)

Autor: Allen, Michael G.; Alley, David


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