Stepping Out of the Comfort Zone: Profiles of Third-Year Spanish Students' Attempts to Develop Their Speaking Skills


  • Kathleen Bueno

    1. Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
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      Kathleen Bueno (PhD, Saint Louis University) is Associate Professor of Spanish at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Edwarásville, Illinois.


ABSTRACT: This qualitative study focused on the learning experiences of four third-year Spanish students enrolled in a college-level Spanish composition and conversation course. The study provided insights into the impact of expanding out-of-class opportunities to engage in communicative tasks through the use of streamed feature films, online chats, and video journal assignments on the development of higher levels of oral proficiency. Data sources included transcripts of in-class and out-of-class speaking assignments, downloaded chat threads, SOPI results, ethnographic interviews, and a post-course survey. The data revealed that learners utilize online resources to support different learning agendas. These agendas, in turn, influence the types of second language (L2) learning strategies students employ while processing richer input like feature film. Implications from this study suggest that design issues of control and manipulation in electronic course supplements are crucial to facilitate the intake necessary for developing higher levels of oral proficiency.