I am deeply thankful for the opportunity I was given to work on this project. Professionally, it has been one of the most rewarding experiences as it has helped me gain further insight not only into central issues in foreign language acquisition, learning, and teaching, but also into the role of foreign language education in the United States.
I would like to express my gratitude to the Partnership Grant and BellSouth Foundation of East Carolina University for funding this project. Without their support, I would have not been able to engage in this exploration. In particular, I would like to thank Jon Pederson for his guidance and encouragement throughout the realization of this project.
My warmest appreciation goes to the four expert foreign language teachers who participated in this study—Sandra Stinson and Silvia Briley from J. H. Rose High School, Greenville, North Carolina, and Cathy Moore and Bill Gore from Washington High School, Washington, North Carolina. Their dedication, openness, and energy made this a successful learning experience. I want to thank each of you wholeheartedly.
I am also deeply thankful to a number of people who had faith in this work and gave me the support I needed. I would like to applaud Terry A. Osborn for his approval and guidance; Jane Garry and Liz Leiba for their help as editors; Sylvie Henning and Michael Bassman for their input and recommendations; Brandie Smith, Andrea Conrad, and Jennifer Bannon for their assistance transcribing the video tapes; Judith Shrum for her mentoring throughout my career; my students for their enthusiasm and dedication; and last but not least, my husband, Gustavo; my two daughters, María and Sofia; my parents, Hugo and Tere; my sister,