A Case Study of the Factors in the Development of Spanish Linguistic Accuracy and Oral Communication Skills: Motivation and Extended Interaction in th

A Case Study of the Factors in the Development of Spanish Linguistic Accuracy and Oral Communication Skills: Motivation and Extended Interaction in th

By: Christina Isabelli-Garcia (author)Hardback

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This study examines the impact of a one-semester study abroad experience in Argentina on the second language acquisition of five North American university Spanish learners. The goal is three-fold: 1) to measure development of linguistic accuracy of a) tense selection, b) aspect selection c) subject-verb agreement, and d) adjectival agreement; 2) to measure development of oral skills in performing the functions of narration, description, and opinion; and 3) to relate patterns of social contact via analysis of social network logs to development in oral ability as measured by gains in linguistic accuracy and oral communication skills over time. The findings show significant development in accuracy of tense selection and adjectival agreement and measured development in aspect usage and subject-verb agreement. Regarding, development of oral communication skills, all learners showed development in fluency but not in the production of discourse functions. The author submits that the two vital factors that lead to acquisition gains in the study abroad context are motivation and extended significant target language interaction with native speakers in social networks. The study shows through qualitative and quantitative data that those who had high motivation were those that had more extended networks, which correlated with gains in linguistic accuracy and development in performing discourse functions.

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About Author

Christina L. Isabelli-Garcia (PhD, University of Texas at Austin) was born in the United States and has spent extensive periods of time in Italy with her family, in Mexico where she studied, and in Buenos Aires where she conducted research on language acquisition. She is currently an Assistant Professor of Hispanic Linguistics at Illinois Wesleyan University in Bloomington, Illinois and her research focuses on second language acquisition in the study abroad context.


1. Issues, Challenges and Assumptions about Study Abroad; 2. Study Abroad and Theories in Second Language Acquisition; 3. Participants, and the Data Collection and Analysis Process; 4. Quantitative Results and Analyses: Linguistic Accuracy and Oral Communication Skills; 5. Qualitative Results and Analysis: Attitudes and Social Networks; 6. Concluding Remarks; Appendices; Notes; References

Product Details

  • publication date: 30/11/2004
  • ISBN13: 9780773463486
  • Format: Hardback
  • Number Of Pages: 130
  • ID: 9780773463486
  • weight: 454
  • ISBN10: 0773463488

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