Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education


Higher and Adult Education


Adult Education

Committee Chair

Barbara Mullins Nelson

Committee Member

Katrina Meyer

Committee Member

Teresa Dalle

Committee Member

Jeffrey Wilson


The purpose of this research was to explore students' experiences of perspective transformation and the classroom practices contributing to that transformation in a first-semester, college Spanish class. Purposeful sampling was used to choose a college-level Elementary Spanish I class to study. The qualitative case study design required the collection of three kinds of data: 1) participant observation in the classroom, 2) student learning journals, and 3) one-on-one interviews conducted with eight students purposefully sampled from the class. The criterion for selecting interview participants was evidence in the participant observation and learning journal data of the early stages of perspective transformation. The participant observation data provided a description of the classroom setting and the instructional techniques therein. Six classroom practices were identified as characteristic of the classroom: 1) direct grammar instruction, 2) English as the primary language of instruction, 3) small-group oral language practice, 4) sidebars on culture and society, 5) learning journals, and 6) the viewing and analysis of a film. Analysis of the learning journals and one-on-one interviews with the researcher revealed multiple categories of learning reported by students, of which three were determined most likely to be indicators of perspective transformation: 1) learning about differences, 2) learning about connections, and 3) learning about learning. Additionally, the four instructional techniques reported as most important for these categories of learning were 1) sidebars on culture and society, 2) the viewing and analysis of the film, 3) small-group oral production, and 4) learning journals. In addition to the categories of learning and instruction, analysis of the interview data revealed that the the impact of participants' transformative learning was 1) increased openness to language and/or culture and 2) desire for real-world contact with the language and/or culture.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.