Learning through immersion during study abroad

Authored by: Sally Sieloff Magnan , Barbara A. Lafford

The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  June  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415479936
eBook ISBN: 9780203808184
Adobe ISBN: 9781136666896

10.4324/9780203808184.ch32

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Abstract

Input and interaction are recognized as essential for language learning (see Mackey, Abbuhl, and Gass, Chapter 1, this volume). Because it can provide large amounts of authentic input and interaction with native speakers, immersion in the target country has been considered the ideal context for language learning. This branch of second language acquisition (SLA) research has focused on the effects of a study abroad (SA) experience on foreign language learning. Research on SA thus fits into studies that investigate the context of learning. The SA context is often compared with learning in foreign language classrooms or in immersion programs in the native country, in an attempt to demonstrate advantages of the abroad experience or, more recently, to consider whether this context is more conducive to language learning than others.

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