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ERIC Number: ED526557
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 201
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 0
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-1390-4
The Effects of Intensive Study Abroad and at Home Language Programs on Second Language Acquisition of Spanish
D'Amico, Melanie Lynn
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Florida
This study explores the effects of short-term Spanish study in study abroad (SA) and at home (AH) contexts on oral fluency and Willingness to Communicate (WTC). Following the Input and Interaction Hypothesis and the Output Hypothesis, it is hypothesized that learners from short-term SA programs will demonstrate larger gains in fluency and WTC due to their greater interaction with native speakers and second language (L2) artifacts. Previous fluency research (Freed, 1995; Towell, 2002; Freed, So and Lazar, 2003; Isabelli-Garcia, 2003; Segalowitz and Freed, 2004; Segalowitz, Freed, Collentine, Lafford, Lazar, and Diaz-Campos, 2004; Freed, Segalowitz and Dewey, 2004; Juan-Garau and Perez-Vidal, 2007; O.Brien, Segalowitz, Freed, and Collentine, 2007) has been positive for longer-term SA programs; it is the aim of this research to add to these findings by exploring a short-term program. At the time of the current study only one investigation of WTC (Yashima and Zenuk-Nishide, 2008) has sought a possible interaction with L2 acquisition; however, a belief persists that learners who are more willing to use the L2 show more improvement linguistically. The findings of this study provide the field with empirical research about the connection between the two. Participants are 23 intermediate level students (9 in SA, 14 in AH). All are L1 English speakers and are not bilingual. Data were collected using pre- and post-program interviews, pre- and post-program questionnaires examining WTC in Spanish, a questionnaire examining WTC in English, weekly Language Contact questionnaires, and personal reflection blogs discussing WTC in Spanish. Results somewhat positively favor the SA context, showing that the SA learners improved their fluency significantly more than the AH learners. Yet when compared to AH learners who were enrolled in the same amount of credit hours fewer differences were seen. SA learners were able to show a faster rate of speech than AH learners, but no other significant differences were seen. Similarly, WTC significantly increased over time for the SA learners but not for the AH learners. Quantitative results do not reveal a correlation between WTC and higher fluency scores, although further research is needed to determine the nature of the relationship between WTC and fluency. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
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Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A