First Advisor

Marjorie Terdal

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages


Teaching English as a Second Language




Second language acquisition, Second language acquisition Language and languages -- Study and teaching



Physical Description

1 online resource (2, vii, 86 p.)


The purpose of this study was to determine the difference in the short term and and long term second language (L2) gains of first year Spanish students exposed to the Audiolingual Method (ALM) and the Natural Approach. The experiment consisted of two randomly selected groups which were exposed to four presentations. Two of these presentations delivered content material following a Natural Approach lesson design while the other two delivered content material following an ALM lesson design in such a way that both groups were exposed to two ALM lessons and two Natural Approach lessons. All subjects were pre-tested prior to the delivery of these lessons and subsequently tested after the first lessons for short term L2 gains. They were then re-tested after several weeks to measure long term L2 gains. The number of subjects that participated in the experiment was 249 and included all enrolled first year Spanish students at Oregon State University for the 1992 fall term. The data were analyzed using the two-way analysis of variance. The results of the investigation indicated that teaching method was not a significant factor in students' short term and long term L2 aquisition gains. The study thus implies that neither the Natural Approach nor the ALM can be considered superior in terms of quantifiable student gains and retention. Recommendations for further study are presented.


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