Exploring Conditions to Enhance Student/Host Family Interaction Abroad

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Abstract

Abstract: This study investigates the role of task-based learning in the study abroad experience in order to enhance interaction with the host family. Tasks were incorporated into a Family Interaction Journal and implemented under four evolving, though different, conditions over a 5-year period. The conditions were: (1) home campus administered/student participated voluntarily; (2) home campus administered/student participated for voluntary credit; (3) abroad program administered/student participated voluntarily; and (4) abroad program administered/student participated for credit in conversation class. In each condition students were assigned to task/no-task groups. Although there were no statistically significant differences on questionnaire answers for the two groups, the qualitative data consistently showed greater understanding of the family, increased language and cultural learning, and increased interaction for the task group.

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