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Benefits of Short-Term Study Abroad Experiences: What Impact Do They Have on Japanese EFL Learners’ Oral Communicative Competence?

Page No.: 
62
Writer(s): 
Yoko Sato, Hosei University

This paper reports on some of the findings of the first of a series of descriptive studies that investigates the impact of short-term study abroad experiences on Japanese university EFL learners’ oral communicative competence. The participants were twenty-four second-year Business students, who joined three- to four-month ESL programmes at two US universities. Their oral performance was assessed before and after the programme, using one-to-one, face-to-face interviews conducted by native speaker examiners. The examiners were also asked to rate the affective impact that learner performance had on them. This was to explore the sociolinguistic aspect, which was not adequately covered by the original assessment scales. The results indicate statistically significant improvement in fluency and coherence and in vocabulary, but not in grammar or pronunciation. The affective impact rating also shows a significant improvement. Three case studies were conducted in order to explore the possible reasons for the great individual differences observed.

 
本論文では、短期留学が日本人大学生英語学習者のオーラル・コミュニケーション能力に及ぼす影響について調査した研究の成果のいくつかを報告する。24名の経営学部2年生が、アメリカの2つの大学での3か月と4か月の短期語学留学プログラムに参加した。プログラムの前後に、ネィティブ・スピーカー試験官により1対1の対面式インタビューが行われ、オーラル・コミュニケーション能力が測定された。この際、語用論的な適切度を調査するため、学生のパフォーマンスが試験官に与えた情動的影響についても、データが収集された。分析の結果、流暢さと一貫性、語彙、情動的影響の項目で統計的に有意な向上がみられた。文法と発音では、そのような変化は見られなかった。すべての項目で大きな個人差がみられたため、3人の学生のケース・スタディが行われ、個人差の理由についての考察がなされた。
 
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