Volume 5, Issue 2
  • ISSN 2405-5522
  • E-ISSN: 2405-5530
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This paper reports on the findings of a 15-year-old German girl’s motivational and linguistic experiences during her one-semester study abroad (SA) in New Zealand. Chiara primarily interacted in social settings with either locals (e.g. homestay) or other Germans (e.g. school breaks). This paper investigates the nature of her second language (L2) learning motivation in different social settings, as elicited in interviews, reports and blog entries; and the dynamics of her oral L2 development, as captured in six interviews. The findings show that Chiara’s L2 motivation was highly situational: she only made significant efforts in L2 use when she considered the specific social setting valuable for reaching non-linguistic goals and when it validated her sense of self. The linguistic findings, measured in language complexity, accuracy, lexis and fluency (CALF) demonstrated that Chiara improved her already highly functioning oral skills during SA – especially fluency and accuracy – despite inconsistent L2 interactions.


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