Date of Award

2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Jennifer Putnam

Abstract

Though a framework for foreign language education exists, the lack of guidelines, proper implementation, and benchmarks, along with scarce research on the effects of implementing cultural aspects in immersion classrooms leaves foreign language educators in the dark. An action research study design was utilized in a second grade Chinese immersion program at a language academy, investigating the impacts of the inclusion of culture activities in the classroom. Areas included were cultural exposure, teaching methods, teaching materials, cross cultural education, and challenges. Research data collected included students’ unit test scores, journals, parent surveys, and parent interviews. Time practicing is important, yet the time needed to include cultural activities takes away from preparation for summative assessment. The researcher suggests the use of formative assessments to increase familiarity of summative assessment material. The inclusion of cultural activities can increase student engagement and excitement in learning which can translate into increased expression of learning through journals. The researcher suggests increasing activity difficulty to increase the zone of proximal development and push the growing edge of students to support a curriculum that meets students at their current level of learning but also pushes beyond to improve skills. It is suggested to implement cultural activities over a longer time period in order to further explore the impact of cultural activities on student learning. Overall, the benefits of inclusion of cultural activities into foreign language education classrooms are encouraging, and even small adjustments can positively impact student performance in language immersion programs.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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