Article published in:ITL - International Journal of Applied Linguistics
Vol. 160 (2010) ► pp. 24–48
St Aying Abroad with the Family
A Case Study of two Siblings’ Second Language Development During a year’s Immersion
The present paper deals with second language learning in an increasingly common type of situation: the one encountered by children of families that move to a different country for a limited period of time. These children enjoy a learning experience that provides them with a naturalistic setting for full immersion in the language community as well as formal instruction at school. The paper presents a case study that investigates the longitudinal development of English proficiency in two Catalan-Spanish bilingual siblings during a year’s stay abroad with their family. Specifically, the study measures gains in the two learners’ written productions in English by examining the development of the dimensions of fluency, syntactic complexity, lexical diversity and accuracy. The findings highlight the variability inherent in L2 development and the possible effects of proficiency level on the language gains. In addition, the on-site observation provides insights into the qualities of the stay abroad experience that also help explain the results.
Published online: 01 January 2010
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