Explicit Instruction for Request Strategy Development during Short-term Study Abroad
Taylor & Francis (Routledge)
Journal of Spanish Language Teaching
The present study reports on the impact of pedagogical intervention on the second language (L2) pragmatic development of seven L2 learners of Spanish during a short-term study abroad (SA) experience in Buenos Aires, Argentina. During pre-departure orientation, the students received 90 minutes of explicit instruction about requests. In the course of their time abroad, the students were given strategic tasks designed to draw their attention to pragmatic features of the host community. Using role plays to measure the effects of the intervention, we compared our students’ request strategies before and after SA, and then once again five weeks after their return to the United States. Results indicate that the participants became more target-like in their use of requests from pre-test to post-test, and from pre-test to delayed post-test. Our findings suggest that explicit instruction has the potential to enhance L2 pragmatic development in SA contexts.