Beliefs about grammar instruction among post-secondary second-language learners and teachers

Lorenz, Alexander, Ph. D.
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This dissertation aims to identify student and teacher beliefs about grammar instruction, grammar learning, and the importance of grammatical accuracy and corrective feedback in the context of three foreign language programs at an R1 university in the United States. This study both investigates student and teacher views on grammar instruction at various levels of lower-division language programs and compares student and teacher beliefs about their own grammatical competencies and the importance of grammatical accuracy in their second language (L2). Despite the overwhelming consensus among second language acquisition (SLA) researchers that deductive and inductive grammar instruction, also referred to as form-focused instruction (FFI), have positive effects on language acquisition, it is critical to investigate teacher and student perceptions of contemporary approaches to developing grammatical competencies in a second language. The systematic investigation of teacher and student beliefs about grammar instruction generates important implications for language instruction, curriculum, teacher training, and material development. One such implication is the practical applicability of the methods used to inquire into beliefs about grammar instruction in the L2 classroom. Using such classroom-based data collection methods can help limit conflicting views between L2 learners and their teachers. The results of this descriptive study not only help identify effective classroom practices for scholars and educators, but also inform the decision-making processes of language curriculum developers and textbook authors regarding, for instance, the use of inductive and deductive exercises to teach grammar in the L2 classroom.