LING-760 Sem: Language Development and Study Abroad
Spring for 2013-2014
ncreasing numbers of college students are choosing to study abroad. A major reason motivating many of these students is the belief that study abroad will help to improve their foreign language proficiency. However, despite a dramatic increase in research on student learning abroad in the past two decades, much of the relationship between study abroad and language development remains unclear. Variation in the opportunities for and constraints on study abroad across cultural contexts, variation in the design/characteristics study abroad programs, and practical challenges measuring the complexity and range of language development have limited sample sizes and generalizability of findings.
Students in this course/seminar will:
1) Understand the elements of theories of second language acquisition which suggest/predict that study abroad should be good for learning a foreign language;
2) Evaluate the empirical research on study abroad and language learning;
3) Analyze pre- and post-study abroad language learner performances;
4) Design a study investigating (some aspect of) the relationship between language development and study abroad.
Language Proficiency Prerequisite: To accomplish the third goal, students must have at least intermediate proficiency in one of the following languages: Spanish, French, German, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, or Japanese. Students will transcribe a relevant subsample of pre- and post-study abroad Simulated Oral Proficiency Interviews from the Georgetown Consortium Project, and analyze acquisition of some features of language in those data. Students may work in teams, depending on size of the sample and complexity of the analysis.
Students enrolling in LING 760 will be expected to transcribe and analyze roughly twice as much data for goal (3) as students enrolling in LING 560, and will be responsible for presenting twice as many readings to the class.
Other academic years
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