Students in the United States take language courses for various reasons. Many Spanish heritage language learners (HLLs) and the majority of second language learners (L2Ls) enroll in Spanish classes in the United States. Based on state demographics, sometimes immigrants from Spanish-speaking countries join HLLs and L2Ls in mixed-classrooms. Many times, these groups take classes together, even though their language abilities, motivations, and linguistic needs differ significantly. Such a learning setting presents challenges for them as well as for instructors. This study builds upon and reinforces findings from previous studies regarding teaching mixed-classes. Data were gathered from 41 students taking AP Spanish at the secondary level through pre- and post-questionnaires, journal reflections, observations and interview with four of the participants. Findings reveal that all groups enjoyed working together in a mixed-classroom setting. Additionally, their language learning experience progressed as they worked collaboratively and learned reciprocally. The study found that scaffolded debates and class discussions aided students with their language learning. Furthermore, the study shows the need to help students with reading and literacy skills, listening skills and acquisition of Hispanic cultures. Lastly, the study also shows the importance of instructors' approaches, practices and materials to teaching mixed-classes and the need for focused and individualized instruction for better results with each group.
College and Department
Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Vasquez, Jorge, "Spanish Language Learning and Supporting Strategies in Mixed Classrooms at the Secondary Level" (2018). All Theses and Dissertations. 6920.
heritage language learners, second language learners, mixed-classrooms, motivation, scaffolding, differentiated-instruction, reading, literacy skills, methods of instructions