Sara Finney

Sara  Finney



Sara Finney was born in Fort Wayne, Indiana and received a Bachelor of Science in Computer Information Systems from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University, Bloomington. After living in Mexico for two years and working in both the private and non-profit sectors, she went on to complete a Master of Arts in Romance Languages at the University of Alabama. Sara is currently in her third year of the doctoral program in romance languages with an emphasis in Spanish applied linguistics. She is working on the beginning stages of her dissertation, which will focus on how role-immersion pedagogies and co-construction of knowledge affect intermediate Spanish-language learner engagement, autonomy, and student perceptions of their learning.


Research Interests

Second Language Acquisition, Game-based learning, Learner Autonomy, Role-immersion pedagogies and Complexity Theory


MA, Romance Languages, The University of Alabama

BS, Computer Information Systems and International Relations, Indiana University

TEFL Certificate, International Teacher Training Organization, Guadalajara, México

Selected Publications

Finney, S. (2015, March). Dissertation Research Spotlight. ACTFL Research SIG Newsletter, 22, 4.


Finney, S. (2015). Bringing culture to life: Role-immersion games in the Spanish classroom.Paper accepted to be presented at the American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages Convention (ACTFL), San Diego, CA.

Finney, S. (2015). How do I win? Creating autonomous learning environments using role-playing pedagogy. Paper accepted to be presented at the annual Second Language Research Forum (SLRF), Atlanta, GA.

Finney, S. (2015). The Effects of Globalization on the Teaching and Learning of English. Paper presented at the Fourth International Congress of English Teachers, Bogotá, Colombia.

Finney, S. (2015). Game-based pedagogy: Re-conceptualizing foreign language learning.Paper presented at the annual Alabama Modern Language Conference, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Finney, S. (2014). What factors influence students’ decisions to continue studying a foreign language: An analysis of student motivation to study Spanish past the minimum requirement. Paper presented at the annual Alabama Modern Languages Conference, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Finney, S. (2014). Teacher factors affecting students’ attitudes toward the Spanish-language classroom. Paper presented at the annual Southeastern Conference on Linguistics (SECOL), Myrtle Beach, SC.

Finney, S. (2014). Introduction to ANOVA statistical models. Invited Lecturer – Quantitative Methods in Spanish Linguistics Graduate Seminar, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Finney, S. (2012). Task-based instruction and its effects on vocabulary retention. Paper presented at the annual Alabama Modern Language Conference, Tuscaloosa, AL.

Courses/Teaching Interests

SP 101 – Introductory Spanish I

SP 101 – Introductory Spanish I Online

SP 102 – Introductory Spanish II

SP 103 – Intensive Review Intro Spanish

SP 201 – Intermediate Spanish I

SP 202 – Intermediate Spanish II


Spanish 100-Level Language Coordinator (2015-16)

Spanish 200-Level Language Coordinator (2014-15)

Vice President of La Última Letra (2014-15)

Outstanding Graduate Student in Spanish Award Winner (2014-15)

Alabama Modern Languages Conference Organizing Committee Member (2013-14)