Don Quixote Meets Ser and Estar: Multiple Perspectives on Language Learning in Spanish Literature Classes



This multiple case study examines language-focused instruction in 3 university Spanish literature classes to examine the students’ and instructors’ perspectives on language learning in this context. The classes were studied for a semester through observations, instructor interviews and stimulated recalls, and student questionnaires. Among the findings were that although both the instructors and the students had concerns about students’ language ability, the instructors had minimal language-related goals for their classes, and language issues were dealt with mostly incidentally. In addition, several themes emerged from both groups of participants: language learning as an incidental activity, problems with students’ oral proficiency and the role of study abroad in improving it, the importance of vocabulary, and the difficulties of reading complex texts. Changes in instruction and curriculum are suggested to better meet the needs and goals of both the students and the instructors.