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ERIC Number: EJ1062011
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: 32
Measuring the Effects of a Semester Abroad on Students' Oral Proficiency Gains: A Comparison of At-Home and Study Abroad
Jochum, Christopher J.
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v24 p93-104 Fall 2014
The effects of study abroad on students' language proficiency have been analyzed using a number of measures such as surveys, questionnaires and oral proficiency exams (Collentine, 2004; Freed, 1995; Segalowitz, & Freed, 2004). Furthermore, researchers have sought to determine the proficiency gains of study abroad (SA) students by comparing them to those who remained on campus or at-home (AH) (Félix-Brasdefer, 2004; Hernández, 2010; Isabelli-García, 2010). Although the Oral Proficiency Interview (OPI) and Simulated Oral Proficiency Interview (SOPI) have been used to measure the effects of study abroad (Davidson, 2007, 2010; Freed, So, & Lazar, 2003; Magnam, & Back, 2007), a review of the literature reveals that the Oral Proficiency Interview by Computer, the OPIc, has not been used to assess potential proficiency gains. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to measure oral proficiency gains among study-abroad (SA) and at-home (AH) students over the course of one semester, using the OPIc. This study presents a relevant contribution to the literature because (1) it builds upon previous empirical studies designed to assess the effects of a semester-long study abroad experience on students' language proficiency, in comparison to those who remained on campus; and (2) uses the OPIc as the measurement instrument. The two primary research questions are: (1) Is there a significant difference in the oral proficiency levels, as measured by the OPIc, between SA and AH students prior to a semester-long study abroad experience? and (2) Is there a significant difference in the oral proficiency levels, as measured by the OPIc, between SA and AH students after a semester-long study abroad experience?
Descriptors: Study Abroad, Oral Language, Language Proficiency, Language Tests, Interviews, Second Language Learning, Surveys, Questionnaires, Achievement Gains, Computer Assisted Testing, Pretests Posttests, Quasiexperimental Design
Frontiers Journal. Dickinson College P.O. Box 1773, Carlisle, PA 17013. Tel: 717-254-8858; Fax: 717-245-1677; Web site: http://www.frontiersjournal.com
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A