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.



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intercultural sensitivity, peer tutoring, contact hypothesis, Spanish conversation labs, secondary schools.