Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Curriculum & Instruction

First Advisor

Dr. Kip Austin Hinton

Second Advisor

Dr. David Freeman

Third Advisor

Dr. Alcione Ostorga


Foreign language teachers in one district faced a paradigm shift in the ways language should be taught and in their pedagogical beliefs. They were asked to shift from a traditional approach to the Proficiency-Focused, Performance-Based (PFPB) approach in order to meet the national Standards for Foreign Language Learning in the 21st Century, created by ACTFL (1999 & 2006). The expectation was that every foreign language teacher in the district would use the PFPB approach. However, the problem was that some of the teachers would not understand the approach or how to implement it, with the result that the approach would not be implemented effectively.

The purpose of this study was to analyze how the foreign language teachers in the district understood, interpreted, and implemented the PFPB approach to teaching foreign languages and to discover what ideas foreign language teachers identified in order to implement the approach more consistently and effectively in their practices. The theoretical frameworks guiding the study were second language acquisition theories, and foreign language teaching methods and approaches.

Survey data were collected and analyzed from 22 foreign language teachers in the district. Among those 22 teachers, five were interviewed, and their lesson plans were collected in order to triangulate the data to validate the study. This qualitative exploratory case study explored three questions:1. How do foreign language teachers understand and interpret a proficiency-focused, performance-based approach? 2. How do foreign language teachers perceive their own implementation of the approach? 3. What kind of help or ideas may foreign language teachers need in order to implement this approach further and consistently? Analysis of the coded data yielded three findings: 1. Teachers demonstrated an understanding of and a positive view toward implementing the PFPB approach; 2. Teachers found several challenges in implementing and executing the PFPB approach properly; 3. Teachers recommended emphasizing ideology/mindset, promoting collaboration, and conducting ongoing training to further aid in implementing this approach more consistently.


Copyright 2020 Yuka Kato. All Rights Reserved.