First Advisor

Janine M. Allen

Date of Publication

Spring 5-21-2013

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.) in Educational Leadership: Postsecondary Education


Educational Leadership and Policy




Language and languages -- Study and teaching (Higher), Immersion method (Language teaching), College students -- Attitudes, Transformative learning, International education



Physical Description

1 online resource (viii, 157 pages)


There is a critical need for college students to receive an education that fosters global learning in preparation for life in an increasingly interdependent and interconnected world. Universities recognize this need and endeavor to provide a range of programs that target global knowledge and skills, and meet the needs of traditional and non-traditional students. Domestic foreign language immersion programs can contribute to student global learning and development by providing students with an opportunity to participate in a rich global learning experience in the U.S. While some researchers have investigated impacts of domestic foreign language immersion on language proficiency, few studies of other kinds of global learning outcomes are available, and research is needed to gain an understanding of program impacts and make improvements.

The purpose of this study was to determine the extent to which participation in a domestic foreign language immersion program was perceived to influence global learning and development. The study used a mixed-methods design that incorporated as a key instrument a retrospective survey of former participants in a university-level domestic foreign language immersion program. Perspectives from short-term study abroad, foreign languages, transformative learning, and global citizenship informed the research.

The study found that participants in a domestic foreign language immersion program perceived influence in all three domains of global development. The degree of perceived influence was similar in the three domains except in the area of social responsibility, which received a significantly lower rating. Finally, student characteristics, including age, language level, prior international or other intercultural experience, and on/off-campus residence were not associated with perceived program influence. A qualitative analysis helped explain these findings.


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