Year of Award


Document Type

Professional Paper

Degree Type

Master of Arts (MA)

Other Degree Name/Area of Focus

Integrated Arts and Education

Department or School/College

School of Theatre and Dance

Committee Chair

Jillian Campana

Committee Co-chair

James Randall

Commitee Members

Brian Gregoire, Judy Novobielski


drama in second language instruction, process drama and content-based instruction, drama in elementary education, drama and science instruction in a second language


University of Montana

Subject Categories

Art Education | Bilingual, Multilingual, and Multicultural Education | Educational Methods | Elementary Education | Fine Arts | Language and Literacy Education | Science and Mathematics Education | Spanish Linguistics


Growing public interest in bilingual education has prompted many school districts to offer dual language models. Unaddressed challenges inherent in dual language immersion programs can compromise the quality of implementation, thus affecting student achievement and ultimately program sustainability. This study investigates how the integration of dramatic arts into core subject instruction in Spanish improves student learning and motivation among first grade second-language learners. Based on the existing challenges confronting a Dual Language Immersion Program in Western Montana, this study asks: What is the relationship between students’ attitudes about learning in a second language and the teacher’s pedagogical practices? In this context, the effects of teacher self-efficacy on student engagement and learning are analyzed to define a pathway to a teaching approach that explores curricular connections with arts integration. Structured observations during lessons were conducted to evaluate the study’s 19 participants, and a posttest measured their newly gained content-knowledge and growth in conceptual understanding. The results indicate that students developed a higher understanding of intended learning targets while acquiring essential Spanish language skills when drama-based strategies were implemented to teach science content.



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