Title

Oral Proficiency and Student Motivations for Studying Abroad

Subject Area

Study Abroad

Abstract

Oral proficiency gains during study abroad programs, as well as student motivations for studying abroad, are both documented in current research, but studies correlating the two areas are extremely limited. This project is one of the few studies to address the connections among students' motivation to learn a second language and oral proficiency gains on a performance-based speaking test such as a modified oral proficiency interview.

The presenters designed an oral proficiency interview to document fluency, sophistication of speech, use of vocabulary, grammatical structure and comprehensibility. The interviews were administered to all students on the first and last day of the program in Salamanca, Spain. Students were eager to take the oral interview so that they could measure their own progress themselves.

The presenters compared the motivations given by students on the first day in Salamanca with those recorded on the last day in Salamanca. The differences, when linked to proficiency gains, help clarify the reasons students decide to pursue a minor, a major or additional study abroad experiences, which in turn help us strengthen the foreign language program, as well as refine our focus for recruiting students to study abroad.

Brief Bio Note

Jana Sandarg is a professor of Spanish at Augusta University, and the program director of the Salamanca, Spain Study Abroad Program since 1993.

Michelle Peace is a four-time participant in the AU Salamanca program, who also completed the Master’s program at the University of Salamanca. She teaches high school Spanish at Eufaula High School in Alabama.

Keywords

study abroad, oral proficiency, student motivations

Location

Morning Session (PARB 114/115)

Presentation Year

April 2019

Start Date

4-12-2019 9:55 AM

Embargo

11-26-2018

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Apr 12th, 9:55 AM

Oral Proficiency and Student Motivations for Studying Abroad

Morning Session (PARB 114/115)

Oral proficiency gains during study abroad programs, as well as student motivations for studying abroad, are both documented in current research, but studies correlating the two areas are extremely limited. This project is one of the few studies to address the connections among students' motivation to learn a second language and oral proficiency gains on a performance-based speaking test such as a modified oral proficiency interview.

The presenters designed an oral proficiency interview to document fluency, sophistication of speech, use of vocabulary, grammatical structure and comprehensibility. The interviews were administered to all students on the first and last day of the program in Salamanca, Spain. Students were eager to take the oral interview so that they could measure their own progress themselves.

The presenters compared the motivations given by students on the first day in Salamanca with those recorded on the last day in Salamanca. The differences, when linked to proficiency gains, help clarify the reasons students decide to pursue a minor, a major or additional study abroad experiences, which in turn help us strengthen the foreign language program, as well as refine our focus for recruiting students to study abroad.