Linguistic and attitudinal aspects of school year group exchanges: Immediate and long-term outcomes for participants.

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Title: Linguistic and attitudinal aspects of school year group exchanges: Immediate and long-term outcomes for participants.
Authors: MacFarlane, Alina.
Date: 1998
Abstract: Neither interactional ability nor cultural understanding are easily acquired in the language classroom. In a recent study (MacFarlane & Wesche, 1995), French immersion graduates who reported using their French during contact opportunities with francophones outside the classroom were those who attained higher French proficiency and integrated French more into their daily lives after graduation. This led to the hypothesis that certain classroom limitations may be overcome by providing young learners of both official languages with opportunities for contact with native speakers and their culture beyond the classroom. To test this hypothesis, this study examined interethnic contact in the context of the SEVEC (The Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada) School Year Group Exchange Program. This exchange program, linked directly to classroom language study through pre- and post-exchange activities which supplement the 5 to 7 day visits in each community, pairs groups of anglophone and francophone students between the ages of 10 and 18 at minimal cost to participants. Although many exchange formats exist, the School Year Group Exchange program is accessible to a wider range of language students than longer exchanges. This research sought to answer the following questions: (1) What are the characteristics of school year group exchanges? (2) Which factors promote successful school year exchanges? (3) How are brief interethnic contact experiences and classroom language learning complementary? Evidence from the case study exchange indicates that exchange language learning processes and classroom language learning processes are complementary. The classroom equips participants with basic language skills without which communication would be impossible. It also provides participants with the self-confidence to attempt communication with native speakers (NSs). The exchange provides a sheltered "real" L2 use context: participants are paired with native-speaking peers in situations which guarantee opportunities and incentive for communication. Finally, different learning styles are accommodated in each context. For gregarious students, unmotivated by classroom academic-type L2 acquisition, the exchange context provides a social stage for language acquisition more suited to their personalities. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/4477
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-10280
CollectionTh├Ęses, 1910 - 2010 // Theses, 1910 - 2010
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