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ERIC Number: EJ1062133
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2014
Reference Count: 34
How Does Short-Term Foreign Language Immersion Stimulate Language Learning?
Savage, Baron L.; Hughes, Haning Z.
Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, v24 p103-120 Fall 2014
The events of September 11, 2001, shocked the nation and forced the United States government to acknowledge its tremendously inadequate capability in foreign language proficiency and global cultural awareness. Post 9/11 military operations reinforced the reality that the Department of Defense (DoD) needs a significantly improved capability in non-western European languages and dialects and a surge capacity to expand its language capabilities. In recent years, colleges and universities have experienced a significant growth in short-term foreign language immersion programs however, fewer government educational grants means that more students are working to pay their way through school, and keeping a job is much easier when the student is gone for a few weeks rather than for a few months or a year. Furthermore, short-term summer immersion programs are very attractive to students who major in challenging subjects with little or no credit for language classes. Still, a fundamental question remained: How do student participants in short-term foreign language immersion programs actually benefit from the experience? This study combined a quantitative assessment with a qualitative evaluation in an attempt to provide a meaningful judgment of how short-term language immersion programs stimulate the language acquisition process. The results showed all program participants, whether first-time participants or repeat students, indicated that the short-term language immersion program provided them with myriad opportunities to improve their language skills. This study revealed that language immersion participants experienced a statistically significant improvement in both listening and reading scores from pre-test to post-test.
Descriptors: Second Language Learning, Immersion Programs, Second Language Instruction, Summer Programs, Educational Benefits, Skill Development, Language Skills, Pretests Posttests, Scores, Listening Comprehension Tests, Reading Tests, Universities, Chinese, Partnerships in Education, Military Training, Program Effectiveness, College Students, Foreign Countries, Mixed Methods Research, Interviews, Questionnaires, Statistical Significance
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: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: China; Colorado