The focus of the M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction at Northwest Nazarene University is on making real and tangible impacts in the classroom through, resulting in improved student learning and achievement. Thus, the cumulative Action Research paper is designed to evaluate practice in a particular setting or settings, measure the impact, reflect on student and teacher achievement, and apply those findings to future decisions regarding practice.
As a first- and second-year teacher, I chose to focus my Action Research paper on the strategies and methodologies I employed in my own classroom to evaluate their effectiveness. After completing this project, I made critical adjustments to my teaching approaches, which have had a significant and lasting effect in my classroom. Some of these adjustments include better classroom management supported by solid curricular objectives and implementing strategies such as Kagan Cooperative Learning to facilitate engagement, collaboration, and communication. Not only do I feel more confident as a teacher, but I know that my students are learning. Those that have observed my classroom comment on consistent and measurable growth. I look forward to utilizing Action Research throughout my career, both as a teacher and as an administrator, to make decisions founded upon solid research and data from sources within and beyond my school walls.
As foreign language instruction methodologies transition from grammar-based to Comprehensible Input-based strategies, teachers often struggle to incorporate these methods into their classrooms. This study asked which strategies students found most helpful in learning Spanish and investigated the use of Comprehensible Input activities in one Spanish classroom. Students completed surveys evaluating how much previous week’s activities helped them learn Spanish and what percentage of class time was spent in Spanish. The results indicated that all of the activities were somewhat helpful, although students rated focused review activities and music to be most helpful and the helpfulness of activities varied between classes. The researcher found that the results were most influenced by classroom management, however, and suggests that management strategies compatible with Comprehensible Input would increase the effectiveness of instruction. She suggests further research into these strategies as well as conducting similar studies in other classrooms that would shed further light on which strategies tend to be most helpful overall.