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Friday, June 24 • 10:00 - 10:50
CON11.02 - An Interventionist Approach to Preparing Students for Language Study Abroad

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Participation in study abroad programming offers several benefits. Among the many benefits is the possibility of developing language competency and heightening intercultural awareness. However, such linguistic and cultural enrichment is not necessarily assimilated because like any skill, consolidation is acquired through pairing both theoretical and practical application. Intervention prior to, during, and post study abroad has been shown to facilitate intercultural gain (Paige and Vande Berg, 2012), as well as the acquisition of language competencies, as seen in the on-going research within the CARLA center at the University of Minnesota (Paige, Cohen, Kappler, Chi, and Lassegard, 2002-), and the Georgetown University’s Georgetown Consortium Project (Vande Berg, Connor-Linton, Paige, 2009). Further, the Modern Languages Association (2014) has stated, “Classroom study and study abroad should be promoted as interdependent necessities…”. Surprisingly, this approach, beyond the standard pre-departure orientation, is infrequently put into practice. This interactive workshop will showcase an interventionist approach to preparing students for language study abroad, representing the theoretical bridging component that is arguably missing from many study abroad experiences. It will highlight predictors of learning outcomes in language study abroad including explicit language instruction beforehand and during (DeKeyser, 2010; George, 2014; Pérez-Vidal & Juan-Garau 2011), social engagement within the host community (Ranta & Meckelborg, 2013; Trentman, 2013), individual factors including identity (Kinginger, 2013; Shively 2013; Stewart, 2010), pragmatic and metalinguistic awareness (Henery, 2014). It will present the framework for a larger learner-centered course, featuring activities to engage participants in discussion directly related to the above variables. By the end of this workshop, participants will be able to contextualize language use and contact, define strategies for acquiring language skills, and articulate ways in which academic programming can be designed to best serve students choosing to study abroad for the best possible learning outcome.


Meredith McGregor

Meredith McGregor is a PhD candidate of Hispanic Studies at the University of Western Ontario. Her teaching and research interests include second language acquisition, sociolinguistics, and intercultural communication in study abroad. She has over 10 years of experience teaching both... Read More →

Friday June 24, 2016 10:00 - 10:50 EDT

Attendees (3)