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Assessing the impact of educational support abroad on sojourners’ interactional contacts, L2 acquisition and intercultural development

Ana Maria Moreno Bruna (UGent) , July De Wilde (UGent) , June Eyckmans (UGent) and Patrick Goethals (UGent)
Author
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Abstract
Study-abroad experiences have the potential to enhance not only foreign-language skills but also individuals’ ability to successfully deal with intercultural environments (Kinginger, 2009). Several studies, however, have reported large individual variations in study-abroad outcomes (for a review, see Kinginger, 2009; Vande Berg et al., 2012), indicating that linguistic and intercultural benefits of sojourns abroad cannot be taken for granted. This may be even more pertinent for study programs that prescribe a sojourn abroad as a mandatory component. In this paper, we report on the assessment of a four-month online pedagogical intervention specifically designed to increase the quality of a study-abroad experience and strengthen the learning outcomes. Two groups of Flemish students (n = 81) are tracked during their compulsory Erasmus sojourn in Spain: one group of students was enrolled in the online intervention program and was encouraged to engage in linguistically and culturally challenging encounters; the other group was not. Before their departure and after their return, vocabulary size, pragmatic competence, and cultural intelligence were gauged to compare both groups’ development in terms of L2 acquisition and intercultural competence. The quantitative test results together with students’ feedback regarding the ‘popularity’ and perceived ‘usefulness’ of the different activities from the intervention have allowed us to reassess the content of the tasks for intercultural and language learning purposes. This assessment has resulted in the development of a blended learning tool for exchange students, SALSA (Study Abroad Language Support App).
Keywords
sojourn abroad, pedagogical intervention, intercultural competence, L2 acquisition, pragmatic competence, cultural intelligence, interactional contacts

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MLA
Moreno Bruna, Ana Maria, et al. “Assessing the Impact of Educational Support Abroad on Sojourners’ Interactional Contacts, L2 Acquisition and Intercultural Development.” Study Abroad and the Second Language Learner : Expectations, Experiences and Development, edited by Martin Howard, Bloomsbury Academic, 2020, pp. 115–36.
APA
Moreno Bruna, A. M., De Wilde, J., Eyckmans, J., & Goethals, P. (2020). Assessing the impact of educational support abroad on sojourners’ interactional contacts, L2 acquisition and intercultural development. In M. Howard (Ed.), Study abroad and the second language learner : expectations, experiences and development (pp. 115–136). Bloomsbury Academic.
Chicago author-date
Moreno Bruna, Ana Maria, July De Wilde, June Eyckmans, and Patrick Goethals. 2020. “Assessing the Impact of Educational Support Abroad on Sojourners’ Interactional Contacts, L2 Acquisition and Intercultural Development.” In Study Abroad and the Second Language Learner : Expectations, Experiences and Development, edited by Martin Howard, 115–36. Bloomsbury Academic.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Moreno Bruna, Ana Maria, July De Wilde, June Eyckmans, and Patrick Goethals. 2020. “Assessing the Impact of Educational Support Abroad on Sojourners’ Interactional Contacts, L2 Acquisition and Intercultural Development.” In Study Abroad and the Second Language Learner : Expectations, Experiences and Development, ed by. Martin Howard, 115–136. Bloomsbury Academic.
Vancouver
1.
Moreno Bruna AM, De Wilde J, Eyckmans J, Goethals P. Assessing the impact of educational support abroad on sojourners’ interactional contacts, L2 acquisition and intercultural development. In: Howard M, editor. Study abroad and the second language learner : expectations, experiences and development. Bloomsbury Academic; 2020. p. 115–36.
IEEE
[1]
A. M. Moreno Bruna, J. De Wilde, J. Eyckmans, and P. Goethals, “Assessing the impact of educational support abroad on sojourners’ interactional contacts, L2 acquisition and intercultural development,” in Study abroad and the second language learner : expectations, experiences and development, M. Howard, Ed. Bloomsbury Academic, 2020, pp. 115–136.
@incollection{8637195,
  abstract     = {Study-abroad experiences have the potential to enhance not only foreign-language skills but also individuals’ ability to successfully deal with intercultural environments (Kinginger, 2009). Several studies, however, have reported large individual variations in study-abroad outcomes (for a review, see Kinginger, 2009; Vande Berg et al., 2012), indicating that linguistic and intercultural benefits of sojourns abroad cannot be taken for granted. This may be even more pertinent for study programs that prescribe a sojourn abroad as a mandatory component. In this paper, we report on the assessment of a four-month online pedagogical intervention specifically designed to increase the quality of a study-abroad experience and strengthen the learning outcomes. Two groups of Flemish students (n = 81) are tracked during their compulsory Erasmus sojourn in Spain: one group of students was enrolled in the online intervention program and was encouraged to engage in linguistically and culturally challenging encounters; the other group was not. Before their departure and after their return, vocabulary size, pragmatic competence, and cultural intelligence were gauged to compare both groups’ development in terms of L2 acquisition and intercultural competence. The quantitative test results together with students’ feedback regarding the ‘popularity’ and perceived ‘usefulness’ of the different activities from the intervention have allowed us to reassess the content of the tasks for intercultural and language learning purposes. This assessment has resulted in the development of a blended learning tool for exchange students, SALSA (Study Abroad Language Support App).},
  author       = {Moreno Bruna, Ana Maria and De Wilde, July and Eyckmans, June and Goethals, Patrick},
  booktitle    = {Study abroad and the second language learner : expectations, experiences and development},
  editor       = {Howard, Martin},
  isbn         = {9781350104211},
  keywords     = {sojourn abroad,pedagogical intervention,intercultural competence,L2 acquisition,pragmatic competence,cultural intelligence,interactional contacts},
  language     = {eng},
  pages        = {115--136},
  publisher    = {Bloomsbury Academic},
  title        = {Assessing the impact of educational support abroad on sojourners’ interactional contacts, L2 acquisition and intercultural development},
  year         = {2020},
}