ERIC Number: ED239514
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Time-on-Task in Beginning Students of Spanish at the University Level: A Case Study.
Long, Donna Reseigh
A study of beginning college Spanish students' time-on-task in the foreign language classroom is reported. First, appropriate student on-task behaviors were determined, and teacher behaviors influencing or associated with student on-task behavior were defined. An observational instrument for recording and correlating student and teacher behaviors was then designed and tested with 11 beginning Spanish classes to minimize error in high-inference decisions. Inter-observer agreement of over 85% was found with the instrument being developed. The instrument was then used in the central study of five intensive Spanish students with no previous second language experience and average language aptitude. Each student was observed for four class periods during the five weeks, with observations coded every fifteen seconds and verification by audiotape recording. It was found that all subjects spent most of their instructional time on task, despite varying performance. Grammar and speaking activities were the most common recorded. Sensing (primarily listening) was the most common teacher behavior. Proportions of student behavior spent on each type of task, and associated teacher behaviors, are tabulated. The student showing the least time-on-task was the student who performed best on the final examination, possibly needing less time to master content. Further research is recommended on types of tasks and conditions of performance. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages (San Francisco, CA, November 24-26, 1983).