Chapter 4. Oral accuracy growth after formal instruction and study abroad

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The present study examines the effects on oral accuracy of a three-month Study Abroad (SA) period on forty-three advanced-level L3 English learners. It analyses the gains accrued in the SA context in the light of the gains derived from the preceding and subsequent Formal Instruction (FI) environment as well as the impact of contact during SA. It also compares native and non-native performance and examines whether students with a lower or higher pre-departure level make most progress in accuracy abroad. In so doing, this chapter contributes to answering the first research question in the SALA Project. Results show an advantage for the SA context, where learners become more target-like, with long-lasting effects. Students with lower pre-departure levels benefit the most from SA. Some contact variables associated with accuracy development are identified.


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