Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Culture tends to be misplaced as a secondary instructional goal in most foreign language classrooms. Although research has suggested that a strong link exists between language and culture, the problem resides in how best to teach culture in the classroom. While this problem impacts all learners, it may affect high school students more because they are entering a multilingual and multicultural world through higher education, study abroad, and employment. Based on Moran's conceptual framework of culture, this study addressed a gap in the literature by examining the effects of 2 innovative technologies, wikis and eBoards, and their potential to improve high school Spanish students' cultural proficiency. The research questions examined whether or not there is a difference in level of cultural proficiency between those students using wikis and those using eBoards. In addition, this study observed whether differences exist in satisfaction levels for students learning about Spanish culture via eBoards and wikis. The research method was a quasi-experimental quantitative design that involved approximately 150 Spanish 3 students at a suburban high school. Three instruments were used to gather the data: a demographic survey, a pre- and posttest instrument, and an attitudinal survey. Independent t tests and an analysis of covariance (ANCOVA) revealed that there was no statistically significant difference in gains in student cultural proficiency. However, the attitudinal survey results indicated that there were statistically significant differences in student levels of satisfaction between the 2 groups in favor of students using wikis. These results provide classroom-based evidence of the use of collaborative instructional technology to teach culture in the Spanish classroom and, more importantly, to further student understanding of the interconnected global society of the 21st century.