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ERIC Number: EJ1088763
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: 12
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1750-1229
The Development of Social Relations during Residence Abroad
Mitchell, Rosamond
Innovation in Language Learning and Teaching, v9 n1 p22-33 2015
Language students in the UK undertake their "year abroad" with high hopes for a linguistic and social "immersion" experience. However, past research shows that language learning success, while real, can be uneven, and that many Erasmus exchange students form social relations largely with other international students. New virtual media make it easy and cheap for the current student generation to sustain existing social networks, blurring previous clear distinctions between "home" and "abroad". This paper draws on data from a larger two-year study of UK students undertaking residence abroad in France, Spain and Mexico (the LANGSNAP project). The participants were involved in three different placement types: teaching assistants, exchange students and workplace interns. A series of pre-sojourn and in-sojourn interviews with 28 students spending an academic year in France are analysed, to identify both the social networking opportunities available and the actual social relationships which were developed. The analysis shows that all three placement types offered structured opportunities for interaction with French nationals which led for almost all participants to moderate degrees of social networking. However, only a minority of participants developed closer relationships or friendship with locals, from which they drew emotional support.
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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: France; United Kingdom
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A