The purpose of this dissertation was to examine the effectiveness of three different classroom language teaching approaches at the university level, and to determine which one produced greater proficiency in students' oral production, listening comprehension, and written grammatical usage as measured using standardized tests. The three approaches were the Natural Approach, the Explicit Grammar Approach, and the Intermediate Approach--a combination of the first two. The effect of the teaching approach on student motivation, satisfaction in class, attitudes toward language teaching methodology, and frequency of contact with the Hispanic world was also statistically measured. Likewise, variables such as grade point average, age, and previous language background, as well as students' motivation, satisfaction, and Hispanic contacts were examined with regard to their effect on proficiency. The subjects in all three groups were university students who had registered for second semester Spanish on their own accord. The classes, with approximately 30 students each, met for one hour/day for four days/week during the fifteen-week semester. Students were tested at the beginning and at the end of the semester by means of an Oral Proficiency Interview, the Listening Comprehension Test of the MLA Spanish Test, and grammar sections of the SDSU Spanish Department's Group Final Exams for first and second semester Spanish. Results were analyzed and the findings of this study indicated that in the level of Spanish oral proficiency at the end of the semester students taught using the Natural Approach did substantially better (P= .07) than those taught using the Explicit Grammar Approach, and that students taught using the Intermediate Approach did significantly better (P= .03) than those taught using the Explicit Grammar Approach. There did not appear to be any significant difference between approaches in terms of listening comprehension or grammatical usage. Other variables that showed a significant relationship with high post oral proficiency scores were contact with Hispanics at work, number of hours worked, visits to Mexico, plans to use Spanish in the future, high post motivation, and satisfaction with emphasis on oral language in class. Contacts with Hispanic family and friends, high G.P.A., greater amount of previous Spanish studied, and age under twenty-two were variables that showed a significant relationship with high post listening comprehension scores. Variables that showed a significant relationship with high post grammatical usage were the post "reason for studying Spanish being "want to," high G.P.A., and plans to use Spanish in the future.