Using e-Journals to Assess Students' Language Awareness and Social Identity During Study Abroad



Abstract: This article reports on a study that explored the use of e-journals to understand through students' personal narratives what factors (gender, living situation, classroom dynamic, social network) may have influenced their learning during the study abroad semester. Pretests on language measures were compared with posttest results, and information was gleaned from students' journal entries to assess possible relationships between a student's language gains and the development of his or her social identity during study abroad. In view of the call for more targeted assessment of program goals and learning outcomes by accrediting bodies in higher education, e-journals are proposed as a means of closely following students' progress and the factors that may be affecting their learning in the study abroad context.