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ERIC Number: EJ822468
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Aug
Pages: 20
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 40
ISSN: ISSN-1470-8477
Linguistic and Socio-Cultural Outcomes of the "Au Pair" Experience in the United Kingdom
Nagy, Borbala Cecilia
Language and Intercultural Communication, v8 n3 p172-191 Aug 2008
It is a widely accepted belief that the best way to master a new language is to live in the country where the language is spoken. For young people, one of the most popular ways of immersing themselves in the host environment is to become an "au pair:" move in with a family and look after their children to get first-hand experience of the culture and become a proficient user of their language. The present study explores 10 Hungarian undergraduates' socio-cultural and linguistic experiences and their perceptions of their "au pair" experiences in the UK as "au pairs." Data were collected by a structured interview and a self-assessment language proficiency scale. Participants reported that after their experience, they overwhelmingly felt that they had achieved their goals: (1) they improved their proficiency, especially their oral production skills by becoming "more fluent" in English; (2) they became independent and this experience helped them "grow up". It has also emerged from their narratives that despite living with native speakers and having positive attitudes towards them and their culture, they found it difficult to establish closer contact with them. (Contains 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: United Kingdom