Abstract

The benefits of study abroad experience in second language acquisition have evolved from unchallenged assumption to the focus of rigorous study in the past several decades. The benefits of out-of-class contact with natives have likewise been questioned. Despite conflicting evidence of its benefit, students frequently cite out-of-class conversations with natives as among the most beneficial aspects of their language acquisition experience. Reviewing the extant literature, this study narrows in on authentic communication-that is, meaningful out-of-class contact with natives, in which students are able to genuinely express themselves and their personality-as a previously unanalyzed element of study abroad research. It is suggested that such conversations contribute to the success of study abroad students, particularly as it is measured by student motivation leading to continued engagement with the language study post-study abroad and cultural understanding. Surveys and essays by 85 students in two separate Arabic study abroad programs to the Middle East were analyzed. The findings bear on the efforts of educators to design and prepare students for successful study abroad programs.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Humanities; Center for Language Studies

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2007-08-13

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd2071

Keywords

Arabic, second language acquisition, sla, motivation, culture, teaching culture, study abroad, out-of-class contact, natives, politics, gender, middle east, program design

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