What Do We (Not) Know about the Effects of Age on L2 Development When Learning Occurs in a Study Abroad Setting?

Authored by: Àngels Llanes

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:

10.4324/9781315639970-31

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Abstract

Both age and learning context have been identified as crucial factors when learning a second or foreign language (L2). The role of age in Second Language Acquisition (SLA) has long been investigated, and age has been found to play a key role because it determines the rate of L2 learning as well as the ultimate level of proficiency attained (Muñoz, 2008). The role of learning context has also been investigated, although to a lesser extent. Studies examining the impact of learning context on L2 development have mostly found that the study abroad (SA) context usually leads to significant L2 gains and that the SA setting is usually more effective than other settings, such as the at-home (AH) one, especially when the AH setting does not involve intensive exposure to the L2 (Llanes, 2011).

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