Erin Carlson

Date of Award

Summer 2021

Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Educational Studies

First Advisor

Catherine Compton-Lilly


The purpose of this study was to explore how SPAN 121 might be designed to foster and support students’ development of cosmopolitan perspectives. Specifically, it explored how English-speaking students might demonstrate cosmopolitan perspectives in response to activities engaging them in Spanish with global Spanish speakers as part of their undergraduate, intermediate Spanish-language class. Theories of cosmopolitanism value responsible, global citizens engaged in open and respectful dialogue across geographic boundaries to learn about themselves and the world and may guide undergraduate college students in intercultural interactions. Through teacher action research utilizing qualitative case study, this study explored which activities might foster demonstrations of cosmopolitan perspectives in additional-language students while also accomplishing curricular goals in intermediate-level additional-language classes. Through data analysis, this study was not able to determine whether activities in SPAN 121 developed students’ cosmopolitan perspectives—specifically dispositions of global identity, global competence, openness, and responsibility to others. However, it determined that participants’ personal values and experiences appeared to affect which focal dispositions they demonstrated and in response to which SPAN 121 activities. Although participants took the same course, their personal experiences and values significantly affected how they each engaged with and demonstrated markers of focal dispositions and cosmopolitan perspectives. Based on these findings, I am able to suggest implications for educators and researchers of cosmopolitan stances.