Achievement and Attitudes in an Individualized Beginning German Program


  • Gerhard H. Rothstein,

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      Gerhard H. Rothstein (Fc.D., University of Georgia) is at the Munich International School, Percha bei Starnberg

  • Robert J. Elkins

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      Robert J. Elkins (Ph.D., University of Kansas) is Chairman of the Department of Foreign Languages and Professor of German at West Virginia University, Morgantown, West Virginia


ABSTRACT  The purpose of the experimental German program at the University of Georgia was to assess the effects of individualized instruction in a continuous progress curriculum on (1) achievement in basic language skills, (2) grade point averages, drop-out and failure rates, (3) students' attitudes toward materials and methods of instruction, and (4) the relationship between Scholastic Aptitude Test scores and achievement in beginning German. Two hundred and twenty-five students were involved in this study. The experimental group consisted of seventy-three students and was taught by two teams of two instructors each. The MLA Reading and Listening Achievement Tests and the Modified Illinois Foreign Language Attitude Questionnaire were used to evaluate the effects of the experimental treatment. The means of the experimental group. for the MLA Reading and Listening Achievement Tests exceeded the means of the control group, but the differences were not found to be statistically significant. On the administered attitude test, however, the responses of the experimental group were significantly higher at the .01 level of significance. There was a low correlation between scores on the Scholastic Aptitude Test and grades in individualized beginning German. Concerning the overall performance of the populations, grade point averages were almost even for both experimental and control groups. The experimental group produced a greater proportion of A and B students, while the control group had remarkably fewer failures.