Chapter 8. Listening performance and onset level 
in formal instruction and study abroad

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The present chapter seeks to throw light onto the main research question in SALA, to measure the short and long-term effects on listening abilities of a three-month Study Abroad (SA) period, in the case of seventy-five Catalan/Spanish advanced EFL participants within the SALA Project. They are examined in the light of the gains accrued during a preceding and a subsequent Formal Instruction (FI) context at home (AH) and in relation to onset proficiency level. Progress was found to be significant over time, the SA context was more beneficial than the FI context and the benefits were maintained 15 months later. In particular, low level listeners benefited most from the combination of FI and SA contexts, although remaining significantly different from native speakers of English.


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