Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Granting Department

Interdisciplinary Education

Major Professor

Carine M. Feyten, Ph. D.


Foreign language, Elementary school, Case study, Technology-mediated instruction, Oral output


The purpose of this study was to provide an in-depth examination of the language learning experiences of four fifth-grade students learning Spanish through videoconferencing and video-based lessons. This interpretive qualitative study involved intensive data collection over a period of 7 months through participant observation, audio and video recording of classes with subsequent transcription, and interviews of the students and their teachers. The following points of focus guided this research: (a) What instances of interaction and output are observed in the different instructional settings?; (b) Are patterns of change observed in learners' language production during the period under study?; (c) What individual learner factors help to explain differences in the participants' Spanish output?; and (d) What are the participants' preferences and perceptions concerning different aspects of the Spanish program? A careful examination was made of the participants' oral Spanish ou

tput. Examples of their oral and written output and oral interactions were given. The participants differed among themselves in the amount of oral output each produced, and individual participants showed differences in productivity in the different instructional settings. No patterns of change were discerned in the language used by two participants. A third showed evidence of growth in some areas of language use. The fourth, Edward, showed the greatest growth. Many individual learner factors were examined. Among them were attitude toward Spanish, use of Spanish in and out of school, and overall academic achievement. All participants except for Edward were in their fourth year in the Spanish program; he was in his second year. All of the participants preferred learning Spanish through videoconferencing or teacher-led classes to learning it through the video-based lessons. In comparisons of videoconferencing and teacher-led classes, all participants expressed a preference for teac

her-led classes. Themes that emerged were (a) the importance of the on-site Spanish teacher, (b) contributions of the video lessons, and (c) limitations in interaction and output.