A favor de SA: el efecto de una estancia en el extranjero en la motivación lingüística y la adquisición de segunda lengua a largo plazo

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Veronica M. Allen (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/
Mariche Bayonas

Abstract: The purpose of this research is to summarize current investigation incorporating the elements of study abroad (SA), second language acquisition (SLA), and linguistic motivation for students and to replicate similar results in a study group of university students in the United States participating in a five week study abroad program in Spain. This research uses Robert Gardner’s theoretical framework of linguistic motivation, which generalizes possible motivations into two categories: instrumental motivation, the study of language as means to another end, and integrative motivation, the desire to learn language in order to interact with native speakers. With this understanding, the results of this study track types and levels of motivation at various points in the course of students’ Spanish studies. Research trends in linguistic motivational studies, such as Hernandez (2010) and Isabelli-García (2006), among others, show that students with higher integrative motivation are more successful in second language acquisition, especially in oral proficiency, after a study abroad experience. Willis Allen (2010) reported that, after a short term study abroad program in France, students with higher integrative motivation went on to continue to use and interact in the target language after graduation from university. Although both types of linguistic motivation, instrumental and integrative, can be effective in the process of SLA, research supports that those with stronger integrative motivation also exhibit higher linguistic competence and more long-lasting commitment to continuing with their language studies (Tremblay & Gardner, 1959; Willis Allen, 2010). Integrative motivation is an important component of successful and long-lasting SLA. Accepting the relationship between motivation, specifically integrative motivation, and SLA, my research measures how a study abroad experience can affect this type of motivation and, in turn, SLA. Through data collection from university students both before and after their participation in a six-week study abroad program in Madrid, Spain, I track linguistic motivations, instrumental and integrative, at various points in their studies: pre SA, post SA, and plans for future Spanish studies. The results from this study show that linguistic motivations can change over time. In high school and college, students report high instrumental motivation and integrative motivation is more varied. After study abroad, all students report an increase in integrative motivation. Instrumental motivation remains a factor in students’ decision to study Spanish, but integrative motivation does rise post SA. When asked to project reasons to keep studying Spanish in the future, students report more consistent integrative motivation while instrumental motivation is more varied in terms of being an influencing factor, essentially the reverse of pre SA motivational trends. Although this study has its limitations, including a small number of student participants and a lack of qualitative data to support and enhance the quantitative data, it begins to address a gap in the literature by focusing on the variable of a study abroad experience as an influential factor in a language student’s motivation. Continuing to build upon this study, such as following student participants over a longer period in order to track motivation trends more accurately, will provide increased data with which to further establish the relation between SA and linguistic motivation. The rise in integrative motivation reported in the current study, however, provides a starting point for evaluating this relation and supports the value of providing language students with an SA experience that will, in turn, potentially affect long-term SLA.

Additional Information

Language: Spanish; Castilian
Date: 2018
Linguistic motivation, Second Language Acquisition, Study Abroad
Second language acquisition
Motivation (Psychology)
Foreign study

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