CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

Supplementing Textbook Reading and Writing Exercises in the Typical Spanish III Jesuit High School Language Classroom with Email Conferences

Date of Award

1998

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Steven R. Terrell

Committee Member

Gerorge K. Fornshell

Committee Member

Joseph J. Maiorca

Abstract

This study attempted to determine whether supplementing textbook reading and writing exercises in the typical Jesuit high school Spanish III curriculum with native-language electronic conferences, E-mail and bulletins can significantly improve the Spanish verbal skills of the students involved. The focus was on the comparison of the achievement of the students in the same level of the Spanish curriculum in two similar Jesuit High Schools in the same city, one in the Bronx, New York, and another in Manhattan, New York. The control group followed the traditional curriculum and the experimental group supplemented textbook reading and writing assignments with their participation in one of the Internet Spanish language conferences. Using a pre-test/post-test instrument, the National Spanish Examination of the American Association of the Teachers of Spanish and Portuguese, no significant difference was found in the performance of the Spanish III students of the two groups that could be traced to the intervention of this study's experiment. There was found, however, a UN hypothesized and significant difference in the pretest performance of the two groups which seems to indicate that further studies may conclude that either this difference was unique to this pairing or that some other factor which eluded this study needs examining. Among the recommendations made by this study is the examination of the role of a Classical Latin requirement in the curriculum of one of the schools. Finally, finding no deterioration of performance in verbal skills in the language studied due to the substitution of E-mail conferences for traditional text book exercises, this study encourages their use and further experimentation due to the possible motivational factors that may be involved and the increasing availability of the needed technology.

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