This study investigates elementary school students’ perception on Good and Actual English language teacher competences and characteristics in a group of 592 elementary school students in Croatia. Using a quantitative research design, participants were asked to describe the qualities of a Good language teacher as well as to assess whether and to what extent these qualities are present in their Actual English language teacher. Descriptive and inferential research results indicate that there exists a discrepancy between the two types of perceptions, whereas more favorable perceptions were ascribed to Good foreign language teacher. Bearing in mind that the effective language teacher represents the source of positive attitudes and high motivation, results point to the importance of comparison between these two viewpoints. The identification of disparity between students’ expectations and language classroom reality present a valuable source of information regarding the areas of FL teacher competence which need to be improved during both pre-service and in-service training.
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