L2 proficiency gains during study abroad vary widely across individuals and programs, and much of the research in the study abroad literature attempts to identify the causes of this variance. Social network data has proven useful in explaining some of the variance in oral proficiency gains (Baker-Smemoe, Dewey, Bown, & Martinsen, 2014; Isabelli-García, 2006), and the current study builds on those findings by applying the same methodology to listening and reading proficiency in addition to speaking. Proficiency gains in listening, reading, and speaking were measured for 17 students from a US university studying abroad in Nanjing, China for one semester. Social network measures focused on interaction with native speakers (NS) were taken at the beginning, middle, and end of the study abroad program using the Study Abroad Social Interaction Questionnaire. Linear regression analyses showed that social network measures accounted for nearly 46% of the variance in listening gains, nearly 82% of the variance in reading gains, and nearly 46% of the variance in oral proficiency gains. These findings make a strong case for applying social network methods to understand listening and reading proficiency gains in study abroad.
College and Department
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Hall, Timothy James, "Predicting Speaking, Listening, and Reading Proficiency Gains During Study Abroad Using Social Network Metrics" (2018). Theses and Dissertations. 7707.
study abroad, social networks, Mandarin, listening proficiency, reading proficiency