Moneypenny & Aldrich

Online and Face-to-Face Language Learning: A Comparative Analysis of Oral Proficiency in Introductory Spanish

Dianne Burke Moneypenny, Indiana University East, Richmond, Indiana, USA
Rosalie S. Aldrich, Indiana University East, Richmond, Indiana, USA


The primary resistance to online foreign language teaching often involves questions of spoken mastery of second language. In order to address this concern, this research comparatively assesses undergraduate students’ oral proficiency in online and face-to-face Spanish classes, while taking into account students’ previous second language experience. The sample consisted of 90 undergraduate students, both online and face-to-face, who completed the Versant test at the end of the two semester sequence of Introductory Spanish. The Versant test assessed pronunciation, vocabulary, sentence formation, and fluency as factors of oral proficiency and calculated an overall oral proficiency score. T-test, one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA), and Kruskal-Wallis H test were used to determine whether there were any significant differences between online and face-to-face students’ proficiency scores. The results indicate that there were no statistically significant differences in oral proficiency at the introductory level between students who completed Spanish online and those that participated in face-to-face courses.

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