Edited by M. Rafael Salaberry, Kate White and Alfred Rue Burch
[Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education 4:1] 2019
► pp. 96–125
Variables affecting the maintenance of L2 proficiency and fluency four years post-study abroad
This study explored the attrition / maintenance of second language (L2) proficiency by examininglongitudinally the oral skills of a group of L2 French and L2 Spanish participants (n=33) four years afterstudy abroad, and three years after completing an undergraduate degree in languages. Multiple regressions were conducted todetermine the extent to which language contact/use and attained proficiency at the end of study abroad could predictchanges in fluency and oral proficiency. Results demonstrated that those variables that improved significantly during study abroad(e.g., speech rate) were maintained four years later. The amount of target language contact/use played a role inmaintenance of aspects of fluency such as speech rate and frequency of silent pauses, whereas proficiency attained at the end ofstudy abroad played a role in the use of corrections. Both language contact/use and proficiency attained are importantvariables in the long-term maintenance of overall proficiency.
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