Abstract

This study investigated the social networks developed by language learners and their relationship with perceived changes in the learners' fluency in the context of an intensive English as a second language (ESL) program. Using data from the Study Abroad Social Interaction Questionnaire (SASIQ) to determine SN development and native speaker ratings to determine perceived fluency, a simple linear regression to test the relationship between social network variables and fluency gain, as well as a hierarchical regression measuring (a) the combined effect of variables previously found to be significant in fluency gain, and (b) the additional joint effect of the remaining social network variables. We found that participants were successful in developing complex social networks, and that their oral fluency did increase significantly in connection with their social networks. Density (the average number of people listed in a social group) was the most important factor when only social network variables were considered. In the hierarchical regression, initial proficiency level and the percentage of native English speakers in the network were the most significant of the established variables in the first step, and overall size and density were the most important of the added social network variables in the second step.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Humanities; Linguistics and English Language

Rights

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

Date Submitted

2013-07-02

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd6386

Keywords

social network, study abroad, fluency, intensive English program

Included in

Linguistics Commons

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