Study Abroad, Foreign Language Use, and the Communities Standard

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Abstract

Although participation in multilingual communities around the world has been understood to be the raison d'être for foreign language study, the Communities standard has been portrayed as an extracurricular experience and more difficult to weave into instruction than the other standards. This article addresses two questions: (1) Does a study abroad experience facilitate meeting the Communities standard? and (2) How can collegiate foreign language curricula enhance the study abroad experience and fulfillment of the Communities standard? Current trends in study abroad participation by U.S. undergraduates and key research findings on study abroad related to the Communities standard are reviewed. Numerous recommendations for programmatic courses of action at home and abroad targeting a fuller consideration of the Communities standard in collegiate foreign language study are offered.

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