Originally Published In
National Forum of Educational Administration and Supervision Journal
This study compared the effectiveness of differing instructional approaches used within two units of study in Spanish classes at a suburban middle school. The purpose of this quantitative, pre-experimental study was to determine if direct instruction in grammar and vocabulary combined with a variety of corrective feedback types would facilitate higher levels of second language acquisition than an instructional approach that concentrated on student activity and task performance. The theoretical base of the present study focused on associative-cognitive second language theories and hypotheses that explained how second language learning occurs. The purposive convenience sample was comprised of 86 students aged 12 to 14 years enrolled in beginning-level Spanish classes. The assessment scores of the students after being exposed to the direct instructional approach were compared with the assessment scores of the students after being exposed to the student-centered instructional approach. Dependent-samples t tests were used to assess differences from pretest to posttest data collections, and to assess differences between the two posttest data collections. The analysis revealed a statistically significant result in favor of the direct instructional approach (t(85), p = .000, r = .01). The findings led to a recommendation for further study with participants of more advanced language proficiencies. The results advise instructional practices that increase students’ opportunities to develop higher levels of second language acquisition.