Title page for ETD etd-04152011-150931

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Watterson, Katrina
Author's Email Address katrinawatterson@yahoo.com
URN etd-04152011-150931
Title The Attitudes of African American Students Towards the Study of Foreign Languages and Cultures
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Educational Theory, Policy, & Practice
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Mitchell, Roland Committee Chair
Burke, Brian Committee Member
Cheek, Earl Committee Member
Doll, Willaim Committee Member
Bongiorni, Kevin Dean's Representative
  • African American
  • culture
  • foreign languages
Date of Defense 2011-02-22
Availability unrestricted
This dissertation explores the reasons that African American students participate at lower levels in foreign language programs in terms of taking courses and majoring and minoring in foreign languages. The primary foreign language that it explores is Spanish, and its findings suggest that the introduction of the language devoid of the influence of Afro-diasporic linkages to Spanish culture leads to the topic being taught in abstraction, therefore causing a lack of interest among African American students. As this study shows, a teacher's thinking about cultural and racial difference is often intimately woven into their disciplinary training, and as a result, the convergence of these influences affects a professor's ability to provide culturally responsive service and a student's desire to engage both the teacher and the subject area. Integrating relevant foreign language theory and Afro-diasporic literature this dissertation conducts inquiry into pedagogical approaches for attracting African American students into the area of foreign languages.
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