You are here:

Teaching Practices and Teacher Perceptions in Online World Language Courses

, , Michigan State University, United States

Journal of Online Learning Research Volume 1, Number 3, ISSN 2374-1473 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC USA


Online teaching and learning have become widespread with the emergence of the Internet and other new technologies. However, online environments pose new challenges to those seeking to develop or choose suitable teaching approaches, and this is especially true in the case of language courses. Using survey and interview data, this study examines online language teachers’ teaching practices, their adjustments toward online teaching, and the professional development (PD) that they received and expected to receive in a virtual high school in the United States. The findings suggest that online teachers generally used more non-content-related teaching practices than content-related teaching practices in online language courses; and that instructors in Chinese – the only language course that offered weekly synchronous sessions – exhibited more frequent use of content-related teaching practices than teachers of other world languages. The study also sheds light on teachers’ adjustment to the online environment, which impacts their management, social, and pedagogical roles. Lastly, our analysis of the PD that teachers felt they needed, as against what they actually received, underscores the need for more PD in the areas of online-course design and content-related technology integration. The results of this study could be useful to online language teachers and researchers, and point the way to improvements in teacher education vis-à-vis online language teaching.


Lin, C.H. & Zheng, B. (2015). Teaching Practices and Teacher Perceptions in Online World Language Courses. Journal of Online Learning Research, 1(3), 275-303. Waynesville, NC USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). Retrieved March 26, 2019 from .

View References & Citations Map


  1. Anderson, T., Liam, R., Garrison, D.R., & Archer, W. (2001). Assessing teaching presence in a computer conferencing context. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5(2), 1–17.
  2. Bailey, C.J., & Card, K.A. (2009). Effective pedagogical practices for online teaching: Perception of experienced instructors. The Internet and Higher Education, 12(3–4), 152–155. Http://,A.(2006).Guidefor constructing self-efficacy scales. In F. Pajares & T. Urdan (Eds.), Self-efficacy beliefs of adolescents (pp. 307–337). Greenwich, CT: Information
  3. Cavanaugh, C., Gillan, K.J., Kromrey, J., Hess, M., & Blomeyer, R. (2004). The effects of distance education on K-12 student outcomes: A meta-analysis. Learning Point Associates.
  4. Compton, L.K.L. (2009). Preparing language teachers to teach language online: a look at skills, roles, and responsibilities. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 22(1), 73–99. Http://,L.K.L.,Davis,N., & Mackey, J. (2009). Field Experience in Virtual Schools— To Be There Virtually. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 17(4), 459– 477.
  5. Conrad, D. (2004). University instructors’ reflections on their first online teaching experiences. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 8(2), 31-44.
  6. Cruickshank, K. (2004). Towards diversity in teacher education: Teacher preparation of immigrant teachers. European Journal of Teacher Education, 27(2), 125–138. Http://,L.(2000).TeacherQuality and Student Achievement. Education Poli DASHDASH
  7. Dawley, L., Rice, K., & Hinck, G. (2010). Going virtual! The status of professional development for K-12 online teachers. Boise, ID: Boise State University. Retrieved from DiPietro, M. (2010). Virtual school pedagogy: The Instructional practices of K-12 virtual school teachers. Journal of Educational Computing Research, 42(3), 327–354.
  8. Easton, S.S. (2003). Clarifying the Instructor’s Role in Online Distance Learning. Communication Education, 52(2), 87–105. Http://,R.E.,Cavanaugh,C.,DiPietro,M.,Black,E.W.,Dawson, K., Ferdig, R.E., …
  9. Dawson, K. (2009). Virtual schooling standards and best practices for teacher education. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 17(4), 479–503.
  10. Hampel, R., & Stickler, U. (2005). New skills for new classrooms: Training tutors to teach languages online. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 18(4), 311–326. Http://, M., & Stickler, U. (2006). What does it take to teach online? CALICO Journal, 23(3), 463–475.
  11. Hayton, J.C., Allen, D.G., & Scarpello, V. (2004). Factor Retention Decisions in Exploratory Factor Analysis: a Tutorial on Parallel Analysis. Organizational Research Methods, 7(2), 191–205. Http://,G.W., & Ellis, H.J.C. (2004). A study of faculty effort in online teaching. The Internet and Higher Education, 7(1), 15–31. Http://
  12. Kennedy, K., & Archambault, L. (2012). Offering preservice teachers field experiences in K-12 online learning: A national survey of teacher education programs. Journal of Teacher Education, 63(3), 185-200. Doi:10.1177/0022487111433651
  13. Kern, R., Ware, P., & Warschauer, M. (2004). 11. Crossing frontiers: New directions in online pedagogy and research. Annual Review of Applied Linguistics, 24, 243–260.
  14. Means, B., Toyama, Y., Murphy, R., Bakia, M., & Jones, K. (2010). Evaluation of evidence-based practices in online learning: A meta-analysis and review of online learning studies. Washington, D.C: U.S. Department of Education.
  15. Miles, M.B., & Huberman, A.M. (1994). Qualitative data analysis: An expanded sourcebook (2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  16. Mishra, P., & Koehler, M. (2006). Technological pedagogical content knowledge: A framework for teacher knowledge. The Teachers College Record, 108(6), 1017– 1054.
  17. Morris, S. (2002). Teaching and learning online: A step-by-step guide for designing an online K-12 school program. Lanham, MD: Scarecrow Press.
  18. Murday, K., Ushida, E., & Chenoweth, N.A. (2008). Learners’ and teachers’ perspectives on language online. Computer Assisted Language Learning, 21(2), 125–142. Http://,L.M.,Shelley,M.A.,White,C.J., & Baumann, U. (2011). Tutor and student perceptions of what makes an effective distance language teacher. Distance Edu DASHDASH
  19. Pett, M.A., Lackey, N.R., & Sullivan, J.J. (2003). Making sense of factor analysis: The use of factor analysis for instrument development in healthcare research. Sage.
  20. Queen, B., & Lewis, L. (2011). Distance education courses for public elementary and secondary school students: 2009-10. First Look. NCES 2012-008. Washington, DC: National Center for Education Statistics.
  21. Rice, K., & Dawley, L. (2009). The status of professional development for K-12 online teachers: Insights and implications. Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, 17(4), 523–545.
  22. Wang, L., Ertmer, P.A., & Newby, T.J. (2004). Increasing preservice teachers’ self-efficacy beliefs for technology integration. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 36(3), 231–250. Http://,M.(1999).Electronicliteracies: Language, culture and power in online education. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
  23. Watson, J., Pape, L., Murin, A., Gemin, B., & Vashaw, L. (2014). Keeping pace with K-12 digital learning: An annual review of policy and practice. Retrieved from
  24. Young, S. (2006). Student views of effective online teaching in higher education. American Journal of Distance Education, 20(2), 65–77. Http://

These references have been extracted automatically and may have some errors. If you see a mistake in the references above, please contact