Technology and L2 Interest Levels

Open Access
Author:
Metzger, Stephanie Hannah
Area of Honors:
Interdisciplinary in Spanish and World Languages Education
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Michelle Le Pasterick, Thesis Supervisor
  • John Lipski, Honors Advisor
  • Matthew Edward Poehner, Faculty Reader
Keywords:
  • Language
  • Spanish
  • Interest
  • Engagement
  • Education
  • Elementary
  • High School
  • Technology
  • Duolingo
  • L2
  • Second Language
  • Students
Abstract:
This thesis investigates how students’ interest levels are affected by technology in the classroom. This thesis predicted that if students are introduced to, and use, various modes of technology while learning a second language, then they will report higher levels of interest levels with the L2. There are two components of this project, one in a combined high school and middle school level, and one in the elementary level. In the high school and middle school level students in a Spanish 1 classroom utilize different types of technology such as Duolingo, Google Voice, Prezi, and online workbooks. Students are given surveys to see how much they enjoy these materials, and what their interest levels in Spanish is. There are control groups of classes that technology is not incorporated into, and the results test whether certain technologies have an immediate effect on their interest level with a second language. Overall, in the high school level it was found that the technologies used did increase interest levels with the L2 in amount of time spent interacting with the language outside the classroom, with programs such as Duolingo, but it did not increase the students perceived interest level. At the elementary level, the students have a type of flipped classroom, where they engage with Spanish videos throughout the week, and once a month a Spanish teacher comes into their classroom for a Spanish lesson. This thesis compares this with a traditional after school Spanish program, to see if interest levels differs for students using technology such as the videos. This program involves over 200 students, and the surveys ask questions about their interest levels, and enjoyment of Spanish. Overall, in the elementary level it was found that the technologies used in the Spanish Divertido Program did not increase interest levels with a second language.