Research Forum: Accessibility of the Sojourn Experience and its Impact on Second Language Study, Education, and Research

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Yoko Kobayashi, Iwate University



Although opting to study abroad individually or collectively is one of the decisions potential study abroad (SA) students have to make, this choice faced by students is not adequately researched in the extant SLA literature. I report a small-scale statistical comparison between participants of custom-designed programs and those who study abroad on their own. The comparison is conducted in terms of students’ perceived English, sociability, willingness to use English, and sense of fulfillment with the SA experience. The study revealed that students participating in collective programs rate their English lower and are less willing to communicate in English. There were no group differences in sociability and level of satisfaction. The findings are discussed in relation to the current SA phenomenon characterized by convenient and diverse modes of access to the SA experience and by the, sometimes, nonlinguistic motivation for seeking such experiences.