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The dynamic nature of individual experiences in study abroad: motivational perspectives, language contact and the development of social relationships

The dynamic nature of individual experiences in study abroad: motivational perspectives, language contact and the development of social relationships
The dynamic nature of individual experiences in study abroad: motivational perspectives, language contact and the development of social relationships
Drawing on a number of theoretical frameworks in second language acquisition, the current study investigates a group of American learners of Spanish (N=73) as they spend a semester in Spain, studying in either Barcelona or Granada. Individual differences such as pre-program L2 proficiency, attitudes and motivational perspectives are examined in order to determine if they have any relationship with the students’ development of social relationships while abroad, with a particular focus on the students’ interactions, or lack thereof, with Spanish speakers. The study also employs a longitudinal approach in order to trace any changes in these affective variables. Data from observations and informal interviews are utilised to support the analysis and uncover any emergent themes which can be seen to impact on the residence abroad.

The findings indicate that the students’ experiences are extremely varied, especially when comparing those who study in Barcelona with those who study in Granada. Attitude and motivational orientations also change dramatically throughout the SA program, with most tending to decline over the period of time abroad. The results suggest that such changes are largely dictated by the individual experiences of the learners, with social interaction playing a key role in linguistic development. The results demonstrate that both cultural and linguistic motives prove key in explaining learner behaviours abroad, thus providing support for analysis of second language acquisition abroad from a Dynamic Systems Theory perspective.
Cigliana, Kassie
ee80982e-eaf7-43f1-8bce-3610674ca29b
Cigliana, Kassie
ee80982e-eaf7-43f1-8bce-3610674ca29b
Beswick, Jaine
502ef67c-c84e-4037-ba69-45bc65dbf594
Wright, Vicky
5a4085ca-99b1-43d4-92e0-8b36edbcf93a

(2016) The dynamic nature of individual experiences in study abroad: motivational perspectives, language contact and the development of social relationships. University of Southampton, Faculty of Humanities, Doctoral Thesis, 429pp.

Record type: Thesis (Doctoral)

Abstract

Drawing on a number of theoretical frameworks in second language acquisition, the current study investigates a group of American learners of Spanish (N=73) as they spend a semester in Spain, studying in either Barcelona or Granada. Individual differences such as pre-program L2 proficiency, attitudes and motivational perspectives are examined in order to determine if they have any relationship with the students’ development of social relationships while abroad, with a particular focus on the students’ interactions, or lack thereof, with Spanish speakers. The study also employs a longitudinal approach in order to trace any changes in these affective variables. Data from observations and informal interviews are utilised to support the analysis and uncover any emergent themes which can be seen to impact on the residence abroad.

The findings indicate that the students’ experiences are extremely varied, especially when comparing those who study in Barcelona with those who study in Granada. Attitude and motivational orientations also change dramatically throughout the SA program, with most tending to decline over the period of time abroad. The results suggest that such changes are largely dictated by the individual experiences of the learners, with social interaction playing a key role in linguistic development. The results demonstrate that both cultural and linguistic motives prove key in explaining learner behaviours abroad, thus providing support for analysis of second language acquisition abroad from a Dynamic Systems Theory perspective.

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More information

Published date: November 2016
Organisations: University of Southampton, Modern Languages

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 402643
URI: http://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/402643
PURE UUID: 6c052e5b-89a8-4d4e-a343-0d14ab12a0f0
ORCID for Jaine Beswick: ORCID iD orcid.org/0000-0002-1866-939X

Catalogue record

Date deposited: 02 Dec 2016 11:36
Last modified: 06 Jun 2020 00:28

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Contributors

Author: Kassie Cigliana
Thesis advisor: Jaine Beswick ORCID iD
Thesis advisor: Vicky Wright

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