Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Charol Shakeshaft

Second Advisor

Jonathan Becker

Third Advisor

Katherine C. Mansfield

Fourth Advisor

Anton Brinckwirth


Although there is significant research surrounding online foreign language education, there are still questions on whether the outcomes are comparable to those obtained in the traditional face-to-face classroom. This study examined four classes, two online and two face-to-face, where students took the second course of a 6-level program of English as a Second Language at El Bosque University in Colombia. The International Test of English Proficiency (iTEP) was administered to students before classes started in order to establish a baseline, and then again after the courses finished. This test evaluates English language proficiency per skill: speaking, listening, reading, writing and also presents an overall proficiency score and level. Variables such as socioeconomic strata, students’ age, instructors, previous experience with online courses, course completion, student satisfaction and attendance and time on course were also examined. Because not all online students completed all content of the course within the timeframe given, special attention was given to this variable. Results indicate that when

comparing the scores of only the online students who completed all the content of the course with those of their face-to-face counterparts, there are no statistically significant differences in the outcomes of any of the four skills nor there is a difference in the overall scores; however this brings up the issue of time investment as it seems to vary based upon instructional method. A qualitative component was used to support the findings in this study. This component included instructors’ interviews, an end-of-course qualitative survey and class observations.


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