Honors Program Theses


Open Access Honors Program Thesis

First Advisor

Elizabeth Zwanziger


Language and languages--Study and teaching; Language teachers; Teachers' backgrounds;


In the field of world language teaching, there is a multitude of research in English as a Second Language (ESL) and English as a Foreign Language (EFL). The problem, however, is that the research regarding world language classrooms at the U.S. American secondary level is minimal. Improvement in the educational system is unlikely if little is actually known about it. In other words, a system cannot change and evolve unless researchers are able to identify the factors requiring change. Furthermore, there is almost no research regarding the linguistic background of secondary teachers - whether native or non-native speakers - and the impact that they have on their classrooms and world language students as a whole. This research adds to that previously minimal research in hopes of bettering education for world language students as well as high school world language classrooms in the United States.

The study researched the impact that a world language teacher's native speaking (NS) or non-native speaking (NNS) status has on his or her high school modern language students and classroom environment. The study as a whole revealed the correlation between the teacher’s linguistic background and three areas: 1) teaching benefits and drawbacks, 2) effect(s) on students and their attitudes, and 3) impact on classroom environment. In a field where the predominant focus of research has been on ESL and EFL classrooms with very little in modern language classrooms, this research examined the impact that modern language teachers’ linguistic backgrounds have on U.S. American secondary world language education.

Year of Submission



Department of Languages and Literatures

University Honors Designation

A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the designation University Honors

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (48 pages)



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