Comparisons between Study Abroad and Other Contexts
Studies comparing language gain between study abroad and at-home learning (regular academic-year classroom learning and summer intensive domestic immersion) have found the following:
- Study abroad students tend to use second language fillers more appropriately than at-home learners (DeKeyser, 1986; 1991).
- Faster and smoother speech is produced by study abroad learners than at-home learners (Freed, 1995)
- At-home students made more grammatical repairs than study abroad students (Freed, Segalowitz & Dewey, 2001, 2003)
- Some aspects of grammar develop differently during study abroad than at home (Ryan & Lafford, 1992).
- Intensive domestic immersion students make more significant gains than study abroad learners on measures of spoken fluency (Freed, Segalowitz & Dewey, 2001, 2003).
- Students abroad gain more in terms of vocabulary than students at home (Milton & Meara, 1995).
- No differences are found in writing in terms of fluency, syntactic complexity, grammatical accuracy, lexical density & coherence between abroad and at-home learners (Freed, So & Lazar, 1999)
- Students abroad may develop a larger variety of communicative strategies (Lafford, 1995), but there are mixed findings here (Lafford, 2004).