Acquisition of L2 Spanish Requests in Short-term Study Abroad
John Benjamins Publishing
Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education
The aim of this investigation was to examine the pragmatic development of 20 students during a short-term study abroad program in Spain. Request strategies were assessed with a written request production questionnaire. A language contact profile (LCP) was used to measure the relationship between pragmatic performance ratings and target language contact. Pretest and posttest mean scores on the request production questionnaire indicated that the students improved their request performance as rated by two native speakers. In looking at the specific request strategies used on the pretest and posttest vignettes, it is clear, however, that the students improved some aspects of their request production while other aspects remained unchanged. Further, LCP scores indicated that the students had little contact with native speakers during their time in Spain. No significant relationships were found between the LCP and request performance ratings. Results suggest that study abroad leadership should support students’ L2 pragmatic development before, during, and after study abroad.