Degree Date


Document Type

Dissertation - Public Access

Degree Name

Ed.D. Doctor of Education

Academic Discipline

Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Robert Harth

Second Advisor

Gretta Roland

Third Advisor

William Pink


Many secondary school counselors discourage students with diagnosed native language deficits from foreign language studies. They hold the unsubstantiated belief that these studies would jeopardize their hard-earned gains in native language learning. Research disproves that position, and some writers advocate foreign language study to improve language learning and enhance cognitive strategies. Improvement occurs more readily when the instructor has the expertise to choose from a repertoire of teaching styles the one most compatible with the learning style of the student. With the full inclusion promised by the regular education initiative becoming a reality, this study explores research, design, and team-teaching a language enrichment course to prepare these “at-risk” students for optimal foreign language learning.

This qualitative study records interprets and analyzes the impact of the language enrichment course, known as HOLA!, on two selected students. The students' academic histories were reviewed, and their class experiences were recorded. Student progress was assessed after the course. Students were interviewed as were their parents and their teachers regarding their attitudes toward the program. Student self-images, their awareness of their learning styles, and what they learned about the study of language were assessed. Analysis indicates that students did benefit from HOLA! in different ways, but the benefits in common were two-fold: an awareness of the strategies needed to succeed in the foreign language class and the recognition of their need to be self-advocates in pursuit of optimal learning. Judging by their excellent grade reports, these abilities transferred to other courses.


This dissertation won the award in 1995 from the international organization: Phi Delta Kappa as "THE MOST DISTINGUISHED DISSERTATION"

This version has minor changes from the original:

  • Appendix D has been removed
  • Illustration has been removed (in the TOC)
  • Minor grammatical and formatting edits in the digital version

NCE Dean Rob Muller has approved the revisions.