Being Polite at the Railway or Bus Station

How a Role-Play Can Illustrate the Differences between Study Abroad Groups vs. Heritage Students and At-Home Groups of Spanish L2 University Learners

Authored by: Díaz Lourdes , Taulé Mariona , Enríquez Núria

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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Research on the effect of studying abroad in Spanish L2 acquisition (e.g., Lafford & Collentine, 2006; Lafford & Uscinski, 2014; Shively, 2014) has largely focused on the differences caused by the effect that context—studying abroad (SA) or at home (AH)—has on students’ pronunciation, grammar, global oral proficiency, lexical development, narratives, and range of communication strategies. Understanding and acquiring the L2 culture, especially its sociopragmatic aspects, is also an important issue (Cohen & Shively, 2007; Félix-Brasdefer, 2007; Kramsch, 2000; Shively, 2011), although it is difficult to measure. Nevertheless, the results reported of SA experiences have scarcely reflected the sociopragmatic aspects of oral proficiency acquired during the SA experience, leaving aspects such as politeness in L2 interaction unattended. The same can be said about the lack of comparison of these groups with heritage students’ performance. L2 politeness in oral interaction, which is tightly tied to sociolinguistic variables, is wholly understudied in SA vs. AH Spanish context, according to the literature (see the ‘Related Work’ section).

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