Grammatical and Lexical Development During Short-Term Study Abroad: Exploring L2 Contact and Initial Proficiency
Author ORCID Identifier
Modern Language Journal
This study examined linguistic development among both intermediate and advanced college-level second language (L2) learners during short-term study abroad summer programs in Spain. Participants completed a measure of overall proficiency, as well as assessments of receptive grammatical (morphosyntactic) and lexical (semantic) abilities at the beginning and end of their programs. They also reported their use of and exposure to the target language on a weekly basis while abroad. Analyses explored (a) whether learners in each group made gains in these receptive abilities, and (b) to what extent contact with the L2 and/or initial proficiency accounted for variability in linguistic development across all learners. Results indicated that learners in both groups evidenced significant linguistic gains, in both morphosyntactic and lexical domains for the intermediate-level learners, and in the lexical domain for the advanced learners. In analyses across all learners, L2 contact did not account for variability in either morphosyntactic or lexical development, whereas higher initial proficiency facilitated some morphosyntactic and lexical development. Results suggest that learners at both intermediate and advanced levels can experience linguistic gains during short-term study abroad, and that initial proficiency plays a limited role in explaining variability in gains among these learners.
initial proficiency, L2 contact, lexical development, morphosyntactic development, study abroad
Issa, Bernard I.; Faretta–Stutenberg, Mandy; and Bowden, Harriet W., "Grammatical and Lexical Development During Short-Term Study Abroad: Exploring L2 Contact and Initial Proficiency" (2020). NIU Bibliography. 418.
Department of World Languages and Cultures