From Athletics to Academics: Effects of Team-Oriented Instruction Methods Integrated into a Foreign Language Class
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The purpose of this study was to investigate whether freshmen student-athletes and non-athletes would benefit from a team-oriented practice in a required Spanish 1010 class. The researcher implemented a communicative teaching method in two sections of an introductory Spanish class. The curriculum for the two courses was identical. In the control group, practice was implemented individually. In the experimental class, practice was implemented using team-oriented methods that included group competition. The intervention took place three days a week, and sessions were 60 to 65 minutes long, as part of the regular instruction. Utilizing students' quiz and participation scores as dependent variables, the present study examined the effects of the team-oriented methods on the performances of athletes and non-athletes, and men and women. Students' opinions and preferences were also examined through a 7 open-ended question survey. Results suggest that the team-oriented method increased students' academic performance and participation. It also benefited all the students, with no difference between student-athletes and non-athletes or gender. The students reported a preference for the team-oriented methods because they kept them more motivated and active, resulting in a greater and easier learning of the second language.
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