This mixed methods study investigated the effects of a pilot peer-tutoring program for high school students between L1 Spanish-speaking tutors and Spanish second language (L2) tutees during Fall Semester 2018 (16 weeks). The purpose of this research was to explore the impact the peer-tutoring program had on the language acquisition, motivation to learn, intercultural sensitivity, and number of Spanish-speaking friendships of the L2 Spanish learners. The study consisted of a matched-group comparison and a qualitative exploration of reflective surveys completed by the participants in the pilot program. The experimental group (n=32) received a treatment of 20 minutes of peer tutoring each class period and the control group (n=41) received no treatment. Results of language acquisition data suggested that, though not statistically significant (p=0.119), the experimental group showed language acquisition gains that are noteworthy. The experimental group showed a 60% greater increase in the oral proficiency score over the control group in a pre-test/post-test analysis of an identical oral proficiency test. Results from the motivation data showed a marked decrease in motivation of the experimental group as compared to the control group. Results from the intercultural sensitivity assessment showed a statistically significantly higher end score on the behavioral scale and a higher end score on the attitude scale of the experimental group vs. the control group. Results from the quantitative data indicating pre and post number of Spanish-speaking friends showed no increase in number of Spanish speaking friends for the experimental group vs. the control group. However, qualitative data showed that 25% of the experimental group reported making a new Spanish-speaking friend after the treatment. Future research needs to consider how peer tutoring as compared to reciprocal peer tutoring among L2 learners with higher proficiency may impact these results.
College and Department
Humanities; Spanish and Portuguese
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Sandholtz, Carrie Dalton, ""Making it Real": The Effect of Hispanic Peer Tutors on High School Spanish Learners" (2020). Theses and Dissertations. 8687.
intercultural sensitivity, peer tutoring, contact hypothesis, Spanish conversation labs, secondary schools.