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ERIC Number: EJ1061922
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 32
ISSN: ISSN-1085-4568
Language Fluency and Study Abroad Adaptation
Savicki, Victor; ArrĂșe, Carmen; Binder, Frauke
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v22 p37-57 Win 2012-Spr 2013
Many study abroad programs require language proficiency, emphasize language learning, or otherwise support the development of language skills for their students. A general assumption underlying this attention to foreign language acquisition is that access to the host culture is increased as students are able to converse with host nationals using that foreign language (Edelstein, 2009). Likewise, some theorists have promoted the idea that being able to converse and think in a foreign language gives the speaker special access to the manner in which native speakers might conceptualize and construe their reality (Hill & Mannheim, 1992). Yet there is some debate about the centrality of language learning in the process of developing intercultural competence. Bennett (2008) for example, says that a fluent foreign language speaker without intercultural competence may be a "fluent fool" who knows how to unknowingly insult host nationals using perfect vocabulary and grammar (p. 17). The current study examines the relationship of language fluency to a variety of outcomes of study abroad. The general question posed is "Does the requirement for foreign language fluency lead to better study abroad outcomes?" The outcomes examined roughly follow Ward's ABC model of acculturation (Ward, 2001, Ward, Bocher , & Furnham, 2000). This model suggests that study abroad outcomes fall into three categories: affect, behavior, and cognition. Affect (A) is mostly measured by psychological constructs related to the mental and emotional well-being of study abroad students. The behavioral aspect (B) is measured by attending to the ease and completeness with which a student "fits in" with the host culture. Cognition (C) is measured by examining aspects of the students' social identification. All three outcomes will be assessed in the current study, with special emphasis on the behavioral variable of sociocultural adaptation. The general hypothesis is that prior language fluency will enhance student study abroad outcomes on all of the ABC categories. A brief review of relevant literature will set the context for specific hypotheses and subsequent research findings.
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; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Austria (Vienna); Spain
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Brief Symptom Inventory