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ERIC Number: EJ883696
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 23
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
Preparedness for Study Abroad: Comparing the Linguistic Outcomes of a Short-Term Spanish Program by Third, Fourth and Sixth Semester L2 Learners
Duperron, Lucile; Overstreet, Mark H.
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v18 p157-179 Fall 2009
Study abroad (SA) is one of the flagship offerings among United States higher education institutions. Approximately 220,000 students studied abroad in the 2005/2006 academic year, 52.8% of whom studied on programs that lasted eight weeks or less. The effect of these short-term programs on second language development has been little investigated, which represents an issue given their increasing popularity. Research on the effect of learning contexts on second language acquisition (SLA) suggests that course completion is only one of the many factors that will affect success abroad. This study examines second language development in a short-term program based on the number of courses that learners have completed prior to their abroad experience. It aims to describe what kind of language development occurs in the short-term SA environment based on learners' previous language experience. Three students participated in this study. Results for all three participants from Time 1 and Time 2 were analyzed for the Oral Narration Task and the Listen and Repeat Task. All three of the participants in the present study demonstrated an increase in narrative abilities from a qualitative perspective. Although there is an increase in words/syllables repeated for all three participants from Time 1 to Time 2--a finding that reflects Lord's (2006)--there is no particular overall linguistic effect observable for all three participants. The findings in the study show that short-term SA provides an opportunity for benefits similar to those provided by longer-term SA, as described by Lafford (2006): narrative abilities, discourse abilities and fluency. The present study supports the assertion that preparedness, as defined as seat time, is not the sole predictor of appropriate timing of a short-term study abroad experience. The results show that short-term study abroad experiences can benefit language learners of different levels in different ways. (Contains 2 notes.)
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Costa Rica