Undergraduate Honors Theses

Thesis Defended

Spring 2016

Document Type


Type of Thesis

Departmental Honors



First Advisor

Anne Becher

Second Advisor

Mark Knowles

Third Advisor

Nina Molinaro


Foreign language teaching methods are both diverse and innovative. With this in mind, this thesis begins with a brief overview of many prominent methodologies and several key figures related to the world of foreign language education. While discussing various successes and failures of past methodologies, the concept of processing instruction is mentioned and defined. Processing instruction, first explored by Bill VanPatten, plays a crucial role in this thesis, as it guides three distinct research questions along with two different experiments. The purpose of this thesis is to provide qualitative as well as quantitative data and insight into the effects of Processing Instruction. This paper will analyze an experiment done in two secondary Spanish level one classrooms by means of a control group, a treatment group, and two different lesson plans. Results of this experiment dictate processing instruction to produce subtle differences in scoring on a final assessment, yet all students that were taught using input processing methods proved to be more successful upon final testing.