Power Point Technology in the Second Language Classroom
If you ask university students what they fear most about taking Spanish as a second language at the intermediate level, most of them will probably say the subjunctive. This study however, demonstrates that using PowerPoint in the second language classroom at the intermediate level increases grammatical success when dealing with this challenging grammar point. It is suggested that the consistent use of visuals created by using PowerPoint technology enhances students’ ability to understand the semantic and pragmatic modal intricacies employed by the Spanish subjunctive at this more advanced level (based on ideas found in Blake 1985, Felder 1995, Collentine 2002, Cohen 2003, Huitt 2003, and Pauw 2003). The data for this study were analyzed using an ANOVA and a post-hoc Tukey Test which demonstrated that the experimental group scored higher on the posttest as a direct result of highly visual, interactive, and vibrant exercises that were created using PowerPoint as the primary classroom tool. Posttest data also revealed that various learning styles were successfully incorporated into the lessons when using PowerPoint, therefore resulting in a higher overall success rate among learners in the experimental group. The data were also analyzed in terms of learnability and second language grammatical capabilities as well as in terms of implications for the L2 classroom, demonstrating the need to capitalize on today’s second language learners’ ability to appreciate and absorb information with greater ease and accuracy through the use of PowerPoint technology. As a result, language instructors need to incorporate PowerPoint presentations when teaching the Spanish present subjunctive at the intermediate level, as learners have a greater capacity to more profoundly understand the grammatical and pragmatic intricacies of the subjunctive through technology as they clearly benefit from greater visual stimulation when learning this difficult grammar point.
Keywords: PowerPoint Technology, Second Language Acquisition, Spanish Subjunctive
Laurie A. Massery
Language instructor, University of Florida, Romance Languages and Literatures, University of Florida