A Qualitative Assessment of a Foreign Language Whole Language Class

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This study had two goals: (1) to provide insights on how to assess a Whole-Language Foreign Language Class (WLFLC), and (2) to field test qualitative research methods for a WLFLC. The setting was a Hebrew-language class based on eight established principles of WLFLCs. The class was assessed through the analysis of formal semistructured interviews with four students; students' reflective midterm papers and final class evaluations (from their portfolios); and the teacher/researcher's reflective journal, which included field notes and anecdotal records. Three themes emerged: (1) Tensions between teacher- and student-centered instruction; (2) tensions between negotiated and predetermined curricula; and (3) becoming part of a multicultural/multilingual community.

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