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Foreign language teacher attrition and retention research: A meta-analysis

Mason, S.ORCID: 0000-0002-8999-4448 (2017) Foreign language teacher attrition and retention research: A meta-analysis. NECTFL Review, 80 . pp. 47-68.

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Across English-speaking countries, there is an ongoing shortage of foreign language teachers. Promoting the retention of foreign language teachers in the profession for the long term is one of the most strategically and financially viable ways to address this problem. This article reports on a qualitative meta-analysis study of the international research on foreign language teacher attrition and retention. Data analysis reveals seven overarching themes that are relevant to the discussion: teacher education, transition into teaching, teacher knowledge and skills, workplace and employment factors, value and belonging, supportive workplace relationships, and teacher personality traits. On top of the already considerable demands placed on all educators teaching in modern classrooms, foreign language teachers also often have to contend with a lack of value for foreign language education, and a resulting lack of “space” in schools (curriculum space, physical space, and emotional space). Important steps toward addressing foreign language teacher attrition include giving more attention to challenging the negative perceptions of foreign language education and the development of substantive policies that ensure adequate space for foreign language education in schools.

Item Type: Journal Article
Publisher: Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Copyright: © 2017 by Northeast Conference on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
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