Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1571-0718
  • E-ISSN: 1571-0726
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This study provides an in-depth examination of the opportunities for social interaction and second language (L2) use in service encounters recorded in situ by study abroad students in Toledo, Spain. The participants in the study were seven university students from the U.S. who recorded 113 naturally-occurring service encounters over the course of one semester studying abroad. An analysis of the corpus and of students’ journals and interviews indicated that while many of the encounters were brief, students did use the L2 to meet their needs as consumers and attended to language form while speaking the L2. In small talk episodes, there were opportunities for brief conversations and instances of orientation by participants to language and culture learning. Thus, the results suggest that although service encounters are typically brief, they can contribute to the immersion experience of study abroad.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): naturalistic SLA; service encounters; social interaction; Spanish; study abroad
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