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Encouraging Students to Engage With Native Speakers During Study Abroad


  • Marc Cadd


Students, their parents, and educators trust that a study-abroad experience is the best way to increase linguistic proficiency. The professional literature, however, shows a much more complex picture. Gains in linguistic proficiency appear to depend on variables such as whether the students experience a homestay or dormitory, the length of time studying abroad, their previous knowledge of the language, etc. Interaction with native speakers also seems to vary widely. The present article examines whether requiring students abroad to interact with native speakers improves students’ self-assessed self-confidence in using the language, their willingness to use the language, and their perceived gains in speaking ability.