First Advisor

Vodehnal, Susan


College for Professional Studies

Degree Name

Master of Education


School of Education and Counseling

Document Type

Thesis - Open Access



Number of Pages

72 pages


Factors that lead American foreign language students to discontinue the study of the target language past the minimum requirement. This research project expanded on a study by Shedivy (2004) who investigated motivational factors for continuation of foreign language acquisition after the two-year minimum requirement during high school. Seffert's (2007) study sought reasons why students did not continue beyond the two-year minimum. The phenomenological inquiry was supported by literature on historic-political factors, motivational considerations, and educational strategies influencing students' interest in second language acquisition. Subjects of this study were between the age of 18 and 40 and had discontinued foreign language classes after two years in high school. The interview was taped, transcribed, and differentiated by emerging themes. These themes were broken into six categories, representing factors leading to the discontinuation of foreign language education. The themes were: (a) general, (b) travel, (c) pragmatic application, (d) historic-political implication, (f) motivational factor, and (e) instructional methodology.

Date of Award

Spring 2007

Location (Creation)

Denver, Colorado

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