A Study of Cross-Cultural Adaptation by English-Speaking Sojourners in Spain


  • Anne-Marie Masgoret,

    1. University of Western Ontario
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 4

      Anne-Marie Masgoret (Ph.D. candidate, The University of Western Ontario) is a graduate student of Psychology at The University of Western Ontario.

  • Mercè Bernaus,

    1. Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 5

      Mercè Bernaus (Ph.D., Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona) is a Professor of Education at Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona.

  • Robert C. Gardner

    1. University of Western Ontario, Emeritus
    Search for more papers by this author
    • 6

      Robert C. Gardner (Ph.D., The University of Western Ontario) is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at The University of Western Ontario.


Abstract: This study investigated 127 British university students who worked as English monitors (i.e., instructors) in an “Enjoy English” program in Spain. This program gives children the opportunity to improve their English skills through a number of recreational activities. We assessed the monitors' attitudes toward Spain and Spanish people, motivation to learn Spanish, adjustment to Spanish culture, and self-ratings of Spanish proficiency, as well their supervisors' ratings of their personalities and their success as instructors in the program. The monitors were tested at the beginning of the four-week program and again at the end, whereas the supervisors were tested only at the end of the program. The results demonstrated significant changes in the monitors' attitudes and ratings of proficiency in Spanish over the duration of the program. Moreover, these changes defined four dimensions: Integrativeness, Motivation, Adjustment, and Self-confidence with Spanish. Relationships were also found between pretest characteristics of the monitors, supervisors' perceptions of the monitors' personalities, and supervisors' ratings of teaching performance. A multiple regression analysis showed that Teaching Performance was predicted significantly by the number of languages spoken by the monitors and supervisors' ratings of their Agreeableness and Extroversion. These results are discussed in terms of the roles of attitude and motivation in second language learning, factors associated with adjustment to a new culture, and characteristics of successful teachers.