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Keywords:

  • identity;
  • qualitative research;
  • second language acquisition;
  • socialization;
  • study abroad

Abstract: The last few decades have seen a proliferation of research on study abroad (SA). A review of SA research literature shows general inconsistencies and inconclusiveness on certain issues, particularly on SA outcomes and their factors. This article discusses such inconsistencies in terms of the highly variable contexts and vastly unstable nature of second language acquisition (SLA). It is evident that the amount and the quality of interactional encounters with native speakers, along with learners' identity, play a major role in language acquisition in the SA context. Accordingly, the researcher argues for a socialization perspective on documenting and interpreting the SLA process in the SA context, with an emphasis on learner identity.