Interaction and Corrective Feedback in Study Abroad

Authored by: Lara Bryfonski , Alison Mackey

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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It is a commonly held assumption that a study abroad setting is the ideal environment in which to learn a second language (L2). These ‘folklinguistic’ (Miller & Ginsberg, 1995) beliefs about study abroad stem from the assumption that learners abroad have wider access to interactions with native speakers (NSs) than they do in their home contexts. While some previous research has uncovered larger gains for certain linguistic domains after studying abroad when compared with learners who stayed home (e.g., Collentine, 2004), the link between language gains and the amount and frequency of contact that learners have with NSs while abroad has not yet been firmly established (e.g., Freed, Segalowity, & Dewey, 2004). Since the interaction hypothesis first posited a connection between conversational interaction and L2 development (Long, 1981, 1981, 1996), a long line of empirical research has supported and bolstered the importance of interaction for Second Language Acquisition (SLA; see Cobb, 2010; Keck, Iberri-Shea, Tracy-Ventura, & Wa-Mbaleka, 2006; Mackey & Goo, 2007; Ziegler, 2016 for meta-analyses). However, our understanding of the access that study abroad students have to the kinds of interactions known to promote language development is still emerging. Do learners make the most of their interactions with NSs while abroad? What kinds of interactions benefit learners abroad the most? What has been done to document the types of interactions learners engage in abroad?

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