Length of Time Abroad and Language Ability

Comparing Means Using a Latent Approach

Authored by: Lin Gu

The Routledge Handbook of Study Abroad Research and Practice

Print publication date:  June  2018
Online publication date:  June  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138192393
eBook ISBN: 9781315639970
Adobe ISBN:


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The Second Language Acquisition (SLA) field is witnessing a surge of interest in learning context as a determining factor in acquiring a second language. One particular learning context, time abroad in an immersive environment where the target language is spoken, has become a focus of investigation in the SLA literature. This study examined the association between length of time abroad and language ability as measured on a high-stakes language proficiency test. A latent approach was employed to compare English language learners with various durations of time spent abroad, in which measurement errors were directly estimated, and were therefore accounted for, when investigating group differences.

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