Date of Graduation
The present research study investigated the influence of computer-based authentic assignments on learners' foreign language abilities and intrinsic motivation to learn the language. The intervention designed was a WebQuest in Spanish. Four research questions guided the study: Research Question 1: Do computer-based authentic assignments have any effect on learners' foreign language reading comprehension?, Research Question 2: Do computer-based authentic assignments have any effect on learners' writing outcomes?, Research Question 3: Do computer-based authentic assignments have any effect on learners' speaking outcomes?, and Research Question 4: Do computer-based authentic assignments have any effect on learners' intrinsic motivation to learn the target language? The study included a quantitative research method with a small portion of qualitative data analysis. The population of this study consisted of intermediate Spanish learners at college level. For this investigation the participants were students who enroll in two sections of Intermediate Spanish (Span 204) in the Department of Foreign Languages at a Mid-Atlantic University during the 2006 Fall semester. One section had 25 participants and the other 23 with a total of 48 participants for the entire study (n=48). Five instruments were used to collect a different data set for this study: A demographic survey, the Spanish Reading Comprehension Assessment (SRCA), the Language Learning Motivational Questionnaire (LLMQ), and two rubrics designed to evaluate learners' writing and speaking outcomes. The findings indicate that computer-based authentic assignments did not affect learners' reading abilities, writing and speaking outcomes, and intrinsic motivation to learn the language between the groups. However, rejection to collaborative learning at college level, refusal to speak in a foreign language without proper written notes, and acquisition of new knowledge emerged from the qualitative analysis as aspects that influenced the learning experience. Additionally, the WebQuest intervention was perceived as a useful and helpful component that helped to develop the project.
Castillo, Aurora, "The effect of computer -based authentic assignments on learners' foreign language abilities and intrinsic motivation." (2007). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 8587.