Presenter Information

Laura AlbertFollow

Access Type

Open Access

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Start Date

April 2017

End Date

April 2017

Department

Psychology

Abstract

An increasing number of college students are participating in study abroad programs across the United States. The effectiveness of these study abroad trips on second language acquisition is an important topic for research. Previous studies have shown that there are differences for second language acquisition when it comes to the context of language learning (eg. classroom vs. abroad) as well as the duration of study abroad trips. The present study examined the effects of studying abroad versus formal classroom instruction on second language acquisition. In addition, the purpose of the study abroad trip was examined (e.g. learning Spanish, teaching ESL). To gauge the impact of these variables on language learning, participants were asked to complete an oral interview, a three-word association test, and a translation recognition task. After completion of these tasks, participants were given a language history questionnaire which asked about their background with the Spanish language and languages in general. For the current study, it is predicted that the students who studied their second language while abroad will make greater gains in terms of fluency than the students who study in a formal classroom context in the United States. It is also predicted that those students who went abroad for the purpose of studying the target language will make greater linguistic gains than students who went abroad for other purposes. The results attempt to add to previous literature while also benefitting future study abroad programs and formal classroom settings.

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Sumutka and Dr. Hertel

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Apr 5th, 9:15 AM Apr 5th, 9:30 AM

The Effects of Studying Abroad on Second Language Acquisition

An increasing number of college students are participating in study abroad programs across the United States. The effectiveness of these study abroad trips on second language acquisition is an important topic for research. Previous studies have shown that there are differences for second language acquisition when it comes to the context of language learning (eg. classroom vs. abroad) as well as the duration of study abroad trips. The present study examined the effects of studying abroad versus formal classroom instruction on second language acquisition. In addition, the purpose of the study abroad trip was examined (e.g. learning Spanish, teaching ESL). To gauge the impact of these variables on language learning, participants were asked to complete an oral interview, a three-word association test, and a translation recognition task. After completion of these tasks, participants were given a language history questionnaire which asked about their background with the Spanish language and languages in general. For the current study, it is predicted that the students who studied their second language while abroad will make greater gains in terms of fluency than the students who study in a formal classroom context in the United States. It is also predicted that those students who went abroad for the purpose of studying the target language will make greater linguistic gains than students who went abroad for other purposes. The results attempt to add to previous literature while also benefitting future study abroad programs and formal classroom settings.