Teachers’, Students’, and Parents’ Beliefs About Language Learning in Two Modern Greek Language Programs




Katradis, Maria

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This study explores teachers’, students’, and parents’ beliefs about language learning in two Modern Greek language programs at the elementary school level in the United States using a phenomenological embedded multiple case study approach. Participant beliefs were identified through a survey which included adapted teacher, student, and parent versions of the Beliefs about Language Learning Inventory (Horwitz, 1988) and adapted subscales related to children’s ability/expectancies, task value, and task perceptions (Eccles & Wigfield, 1995). Student and parent beliefs and lived experiences were further explored using in-depth individual interviews. Results indicate that the students’ beliefs about language learning and specifically about learning Greek were more positive than those of their respective teacher and parents, despite holding some counterproductive or contradictory beliefs about language learning. Their interviews illustrated their negotiations between classroom and home environments and support for learning Greek. The parent interviews brought to light that their beliefs were formed from their own experiences with language learning and prior experiences with learning Greek. Across these programs, two distinct conceptualizations for Modern Greek language learning are presented. Educational implications include: addressing goals and expectations; impact of beliefs on program models; students’ contradictory beliefs; assessment of language learning; long-term expectations of Greek language learning; conceptualizations of the roles of identity, culture, and language; and diverging cultures and conceptualizations of Greek language learning.



Education, Foreign language education, Educational psychology, Beliefs about language learning, Elementary school, Foreign language, Heritage language, Modern Greek, Task and self-perceptions