Article in:Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education
Vol. 6:1 (2021) ► pp. 124–162
Writing development during study abroad
The role of language contact and social networks
Previous research on the benefits of study abroad (SA) has mainly focused on oral communication skills and L2 English, while written communication and other foreign languages have received far less attention. This study addresses this gap by investigating writing development in L2 German. It also aims to further the discussion about methods to assess writing development by combining different types of data. The writing gains of 30 Belgian students in L2 German were investigated after one semester abroad. Pre- and post-SA writing samples were analysed using linguistic and task-related assessment criteria. The results are triangulated with data about self-perceived language gains, on the one hand, and self-reported language contact and social networks during SA, on the other. The results indicate a correlation between self-report writing gains, language contact, and social networks.
Keywords: writing development, writing assessment, CAF, functional adequacy, language contact, social networks, L2 German
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