About this paper

Appears in:
Page: 4559 (abstract only)
Publication year: 2015
ISBN: 978-84-608-2657-6
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain

THE STAY ABROAD EXPERIENCE: A STUDY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMPONENTS OF PROFICIENCY AND CULTURAL LEARNING DURING THE YEAR ABROAD

K. Brogan

Institute of Technology, Tralee (IRELAND)
This study investigates the possible benefits of the Study Abroad programme in relation to language proficiency development and cultural learning. In total, 143 students participated in this research from seven third level Irish universities (DCU, NUIM, NUIG, TCD, UCC, UCD and UL) who all studied German as part of their degree. The majority of participants availed of the opportunity to study or work abroad in Germany or Austria, while 13 students stayed at home and formed the control group.

A combination of factors (linguistic, inter-cultural, personal and socio-cultural) is considered significant to acquisition of receptive and productive language and is exploited in the elicitation and analysis of data. The author has enquired systematically into the factors that may positively advance language acquisition and cultural learning. Data from students who went abroad is compared with a control group to analyse the possible combination/inter-relationship of factors that may positively enhance language proficiency development and make cultural learning possible.

The study includes a literature summary of language acquisition and intercultural communication during the SA. The methodology of this research is both qualitative and quantitative and the specific assessments instruments are discussed in the methodology chapter. This research includes questionnaires, interviews in English, and German aural and oral tests in order to measure any difference before and after the residence abroad.

The findings clearly show that not all students improve their language proficiency nor are able to move beyond a stereotypical view of the host country. Self-confidence as a language speaker and “outsider” while abroad are important factors for successful learning. The study shows educators must assist learners to become more aware of how to make the implicit learning of the year abroad more explicit. Despite the fact that not all students improve, there is plenty of evidence about self-discoveries and increased awareness about their own culture and the majority of them evaluated the SA experience in a positive way and would like to return to the host country in the future.

References:
[1] Deardorff D.K. (ed.) (2009) The SAGE Handbook of Intercultural Competence. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE.
[2] DuFon M. and Churchill E. (eds.) (2006) Language Learners in Study Abroad Contexts. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
[3] Harden T. and Witte A. (eds.) (2000) The Notion of Intercultural Understanding in the Context of German as a Foreign Language. Oxford: Peter Lang.
[4] Kinginger C. (2009) Language Learning and Study Abroad: A Critical Reading of Research. Hampshire: Palgrave MacMillan.
[5] Murphy-Lejeune E. (2002) Student Mobility and Narrative in Europe: The New Strangers. New York: Routledge.
[6] Pellegrino Aveni V. (2005) Study abroad and Second Language use: Constructing the Self. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
@InProceedings{BROGAN2015STA,
author = {Brogan, K.},
title = {THE STAY ABROAD EXPERIENCE: A STUDY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMPONENTS OF PROFICIENCY AND CULTURAL LEARNING DURING THE YEAR ABROAD},
series = {8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2015 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-608-2657-6},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {18-20 November, 2015},
year = {2015},
pages = {4559}}
TY - CONF
AU - K. Brogan
TI - THE STAY ABROAD EXPERIENCE: A STUDY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMPONENTS OF PROFICIENCY AND CULTURAL LEARNING DURING THE YEAR ABROAD
SN - 978-84-608-2657-6/2340-1095
PY - 2015
Y1 - 18-20 November, 2015
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2015 Proceedings
SP - 4559
EP - 4559
ER -
K. Brogan (2015) THE STAY ABROAD EXPERIENCE: A STUDY OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF COMPONENTS OF PROFICIENCY AND CULTURAL LEARNING DURING THE YEAR ABROAD, ICERI2015 Proceedings, p. 4559.
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