Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Education (Ph.D)


Administrative and Instructional Leadership

First Advisor

Ceceilia Parnther

Second Advisor

Anthony Anunziato

Third Advisor

Erin Fahle


World language study exposes students to more than just language; they are also exposed to different cultures. After graduating, students will be exposed to different languages and cultures in the workforce, and they must be prepared. Students often leave their language of choice after the one or two semester course requirement; it takes more than those one or two courses for students to gain the cultural and linguistic skills needed to succeed. Institutions must start to convey the importance of those skills in order produce culturally aware and global students. Student placement, student motivation, and classroom pedagogy all contribute to student persistence. The research shows students persist in their language learning when they are taught the using Second Language Learning Theory, specifically the Interaction Hypothesis, and Sociolinguistics. The research also shows the importance of increasing students’ Intercultural Knowledge through Intercultural Development in world language programs. This instrumental case study found students who are self-motivated persist in their chosen language of study. The participants in the study were all students enrolled in, or faculty teaching at Island Life Community College, a tri-campus community college in the northeastern part of the United States.