Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Curriculum and Instruction (PhD)

Degree Level



Curriculum and Instruction


Freddie A. Bowles

Committee Member

Christian Z. Goering

Second Committee Member

Sean P. Connors


Curriculum development, English as a Second Language (ESL), language learning, foreign language education


This three-paper dissertation examines whether arts integration-an approach to teaching in which students construct and demonstrate understanding through an art form-helps with foreign language teaching and learning, especially language performance. The first paper conducts a comprehensive literature review of research on arts integration and its use in the context of language classrooms, including both English as a Second Language and Foreign Language classrooms. The second paper is a qualitative case study exploring how a French teacher perceives the role that arts integration plays in her students’ language performance. Specific arts-integrated strategies are discussed, and connections are made to students’ language performance defined by The ACTFL Performance Descriptors, which serves as the theoretical framework for understanding how arts integration supports language performance. Seven domains of language performance are examined in relation to arts integration from multiple sources of information, such as interviews, observations, and documents. The third paper provides some concrete examples of integrating arts into an elementary Chinese classroom in order to promote students’ language performance in three modes of communication: interpretive, interpersonal and presentational. All three papers together offer insights into an arts-integrated approach to foreign language education with a special focus on language performance that refers to students’ abilities “to use language that has been learned and practiced in an instructional setting” (ACTFL Performance Descriptors for Language Learners, 2012, p. 4).