This study was designed to collect and evaluate the social networks of 32 study abroad students participating in the 2009 BYU study abroad program in Amman, Jordan. Survey data, language journals, and test scores were analyzed to determine how they successfully built social networks with native speakers, the relationship between students' social networks and time spent using Arabic outside of class, and the relationship between students' social networks and their acquisition of Arabic. The experiment provided a number of insights into how study abroad students meet potential conversation partners, select which relationships to pursue, and develop relationships in order to build social networks. The study also found that the intensity of students' social relationships as well as the number of clusters in their social networks were predictors of language gains. Additionally, the findings show that social network dispersion and the size of the largest cluster in a network predicted time spent using Arabic outside of class.
College and Department
Humanities; Center for Language Studies
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hillstrom, Rebecca Ann, "Social Networks, Language Acquisition, and Time on Task While Studying Abroad" (2011). All Theses and Dissertations. 2780.
Arabic, second language acquisition, social network, study abroad, time on task