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    Actual and self-perceived linguistic proficiency gains in French during study abroad

    Dewaele, L. and Dewaele, Jean-Marc (2020) Actual and self-perceived linguistic proficiency gains in French during study abroad. Languages 6 (6), pp. 1-17. ISSN 2226-471X.

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    The present study focuses on 33 British and Irish students, including non-language specialists and language specialists, who spent their study abroad (SA) period in Francophone countries. Their proficiency in French ranged from lower independent (B1) to advanced level (C2). The analysis of quantitative data collected at the start, in the middle, and at the end of the SA period through an online questionnaire showed that both actual proficiency and self-reported proficiency increased significantly after SA. A closer look at self-reported proficiency in the four skills showed a significant linear increase in speaking and listening, while scores for reading and writing only increased significantly after the mid-way point in the SA period. The same pattern emerged for grammar and vocabulary. Only pronunciation showed no significant change over the SA period. Linking the amount of change in actual proficiency between the start and the end of the SA period to participants’ descriptions of their experience revealed that progress was not always linked to overall positivity of the experience but rather to the development of a strong local French social network. Actual and self-reported proficiency scores were significantly correlated. Participants with lower initial actual proficiency were found to have made the biggest gain during SA.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): study abroad, proficiency, self-perceived proficiency, linguistic gains, French
    School: School of Social Sciences, History and Philosophy > Applied Linguistics and Communication (to 2020)
    Depositing User: Jean-Marc Dewaele
    Date Deposited: 13 Jan 2021 11:58
    Last Modified: 11 Jun 2021 02:39


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