Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Name


Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Anthropology of Education

Department or School/College

Department of Anthropology

Committee Chair

G.G. Weix

Commitee Members

Leora Bar-el, Irene Appelbaum, Adrea Lawrence, Jingjing Sun


Beliefs, Language Ideology, Language Socialization, Micro-ritual, Teacher Training


University of Montana


Language and social interaction have been determined to be intricately linked. Over the past century, studies surrounding how to learn languages have shifted the conversation on how to teach them. With the introduction of Hymes’ (1971) Communicative Competence into pedagogical literature, learning language within social context replaced the formally grammar based, traditional methods. During the early 1960’s the American Council for the Teaching of Foreign Language led the charge on providing standards and learning objectives to shift language learning towards a more integrated and communicative approach. However, based on the research of Celce-Murcia (2007), Aguilar (2007), and Ishihara & Cohen (2010) and studies done by Burke (2011), Busch (2010), Bangou (2010), Chaudron (1988), Byram (1997), Holmes (2014), the traditional, largely grammar focused methods endure. However, studies that include qualitative research methods on educator experiences are few and far between (Bailey & Nunan 1996). To fully understand what is taking place in the current language classroom, this qualitative research study examines what factors shape language educator beliefs, perspectives, and attitudes about teaching and learning languages other than English. This study pulls from Duff’s (2011; 2017) work on language socialization, Riley (2012) and Kroskrity’s (2004) work on language ideology, and finally Javeau’s (1994) work on microrituel, to examine language educator experiences in a largely rural state in the Rocky Mountain west. The aim of this research is to identify barriers and opportunities to shift educators’ perspectives and ultimately provide insight into how changes in practice can be accomplished.



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