Empirical Studies

Below you can find brief explanations and links to two small-scale empirical studies.

“The Effects of Subtitling in Vocabulary Acquisition”. This study was carried out at Miami University of Ohio as part of a research project for a Second Language Acquisition seminar taught by Dr. Eva Rodríguez González in the Spring of 2008. I designed and implemented this project with my peer Mary Ashley Burton and we discussed the results of our IRB-approved experiment  in a paper.1 The results of our study showed that the student’s acquistion of vocabulary increased if subtitles were used (with a 26% of right answers in the group with no subtitles, 33% in the group with subtitles in Spanish, and 41% in the group with subtitles in English). To see a description of the experiment, a discussion of the results, test, post-tests, and the pedagogical implications go to our paper and our presentation.

1. I would like to thank Mary Ashley Burton for allowing me to share our project in my Teaching Portfolio.


“The Effects of Deductive and Inductive Instruction on the Acquisition of Conditional Structures in Spanish.” This study was part of a requirement for the linguistic seminar “Principles of Language Learning and Teaching” taught by Nelleke Van Deusen-Scholl at Yale University in the Fall of 2012. The results showed that the inductive approach fosters higher accuracy results when teaching conditional types 1 and 2 in Spanish among college-age students, especially with the conditional type 1 structure. Although this confirms some previous studies the mixed results that exist in the literature suggest that these results might be particular to specific aspects of a language and may also vary from language to language. In spite of students learning style preference weighing more on the deductive side of the scale, induction was more efficient in this particular case. These are three graphics showing some of the results (click the images to make them bigger):

Chart I - Conditional types 1 and 2 accuracy rate Chart II - Conditional type 1 accuracy rate

Chart II - Conditional type 2 accuracy rate

You can read the action research paper with a complete overview, description, discussion of results, charts, and pedagogical implications. You can also see the presentation of the main aspects of this experiment. 

You can also see the materials I designed and used in each class. For the deductive classes you can access two different PowerPoints for conditional type 1  and conditional type 2 as well as the handouts (conditional type 1 and 2) for the students. As for the inductive classes, I created two different PowerPoints (conditional type 1 and type 2), and two handouts (conditional type 1  and type 2).



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