Articulation in the Spanish program at a large southwestern university: A case study

2011 2011

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Abstract (summary)

Articulation is defined by Byrnes as "the well motivated and well designed sequencing and coordination of instruction toward certain goals." Factors concerning vertical articulation (the sequencing of language courses from the entry point to the end point of instruction) and horizontal articulation (coordination of multi-sectioned language courses) are the foci of this research. Student motivation relating to articulation efforts is also considered. The data for the study included departmental documents, course textbooks and course syllabi, questionnaires from 725 students and 99 instructors, follow-up interviews with eight students and six instructors, and a composition analysis of 66 student essays. While students' perceptions are favorable to the vertical flow of Spanish courses, data reveals that students experience a gap between Spanish 202 and Spanish 251level courses. Furthermore, the data show that while certain policies and procedures implemented in the Spanish department dampen the concern of false beginners, students at the beginning and intermediate levels of instruction are placed below their proficiency levels. In regard to horizontal articulation, data indicate that standardized syllabi among individual multi-sectioned courses contribute to congruent instruction, whereas non-standardized syllabi created by individual instructors teaching the same course do not. In addition, rates of accurate usage of the verbs ser and estar in students' compositions indicate that students enrolled in Spanish 251 and 325 have reached similar levels of proficiency generally. Data also reveal a need for clearly and consistently stated instructional objectives in order to improve future articulation efforts. Other implications of the study include the need to investigate different methods for teacher training given the needs and constraints discussed by focus instructors.

Indexing (details)

Modern language;
Foreign Language;
Higher Education Administration
0291: Modern language
0444: Foreign Language
0446: Higher Education Administration
Identifier / keyword
Education; Language, literature and linguistics; Foreign language; Higher education; Post-secondary; Program administration; Program articulation; Spanish Department; Spanish as a foreign language
Articulation in the Spanish program at a large southwestern university: A case study
Gabbitas, Jeffrey W.
Number of pages
Publication year
Degree date
School code
DAI-A 72/11, Dissertation Abstracts International
Place of publication
Ann Arbor
Country of publication
United States
Adamson, Douglas
Committee member
Ariew, Robert; Dupuy, Beatrice
The University of Arizona
Second Language Acquisition & Teaching
University location
United States -- Arizona
Source type
Dissertations & Theses
Document type
Dissertation/thesis number
ProQuest document ID
Database copyright ProQuest LLC; ProQuest does not claim copyright in the individual underlying works.
Document URL
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