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Teacher retention is problematic, especially where foreign language educators are concerned. In an effort to study if a relationship exists between foreign language teacher efficacy and retention, the author created a new quantitative instrument to measure foreign language teacher efficacy (N = 441) in the southeastern region of the United States. The Foreign Language Teacher Efficacy Scale was tested in 11 states in the Southern Conference on Language Teaching (SCOLT) region and was found to be valid and reliable, indentifying two dimensions of teaching languages, content knowledge and the facilitation of teaching. Results show differences between novice and veteran teachers in the areas of instructional strategy, classroom management, and student engagement. The findings provide implications for foreign language teacher preparation as well as teacher retention and professional development.


Originally published in:

Swanson, P. (2010). Efficacy and language teacher attrition: A case for mentorship beyond the classroom. NECTFL Review, 66, 48-72.