Towards the Development of a Prognostic Approach to Student Retention in Foreign Language Classes

By Ana Lobo and Cristina Poyatos Matas.

Published by The Learner Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Language student attrition rightly continues to raise concern, associated as it is with heavy emotional and financial consequences. Existing models of student retention and attrition approach the issue of student dropout once the students had withdrawn from their studies. Even though these models have been successful in determining some of the factors that contributed to student withdrawal, there are three distinct gaps in the literature. First, the lack of studies dealing with in-course retention, second, the lack of retention and attrition models that tackled the issue from a prognostic approach rather than diagnostic, and third, the lack of research into second and foreign language learning student attrition. This article explains a new approach to language student in-course retention, developed and evaluated in a first-year tertiary Spanish class, as well as the instruments that support its implementation.

Keywords: Student Retention and Attrition, Language Learning, Spanish as a Foreign Language, Australia

The International Journal of Learning, Volume 17, Issue 11, pp.305-316. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 738.928KB).

Dr. Ana Lobo

Lecturer, School of Languages and Linguistics, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Ana has been conducting research and teaching Spanish and English at Griffith University for over eight years. As well as teaching, Ana is a professional translator closely affiliated with AUSIT. She was nominated for a Griffith University Teaching Excellence Award, for her contribution to language teaching, in 2006 and 2007. Her research interests are in the areas of student attrition and retention, English as a second language, second language teaching and learning and the practice of translation and interpreting.

Dr. Cristina Poyatos Matas

Senior Lecturer, School of Languages and Linguistics, Griffith University, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Cristina has a strong research interest in multicultural education, intercultural communication, grammar teaching and higher education pedagogy. In 2003 she became a HERDSA Fellow, and in 2006 she received an Australian Learning and Teaching Citation Award for her contribution to research supervision (Honours, Master and PhD). She also won the University of Queensland Dean’s Commendation for Outstanding Research Higher Degree Thesis 2005 for her work in the area of grammar pedagogy. Additionally, she is the member of three editorial boards of international journals relating to areas of her research expertise.

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