Browsing by Author "Beliles, Emily"
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- ItemThe effect of attitude toward the target language and culture, and of input on English second language proficiency in a study-abroad immersion setting(Stellenbosch : Stellenbosch University, 2015-12) Beliles, Emily; Potgieter, Anneke Perold; Stellenbosch University. Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Dept. of General Linguistics.ENGLISH ABSTRACT: As the number of Asian students studying English abroad continues to increase, there is a growing need for language learning programs that help students to increase their English proficiency in the most effective way possible. Studies have shown that exposure alone is not sufficient for improving proficiency. The question is: “Can a second language (L2) learner truly learn the target language if they do not like the people who speak it?” Schumman’s (1978) acculturation theory proposes that the degree to which a learner integrates into the target culture through decreasing their social and psychological distance from it will determine the degree to which they learn the target language. Central to this process is the learner’s attitude toward the target language and the target culture. By fostering positive attitudes toward the target language and culture, can we aid L2 students in transforming the L2 input that they receive while studying abroad into meaningful intake through which they can, in turn, achieve greater proficiency in the L2? This thesis explores the above questions through a research study investigating the relationship between attitude toward the target language and target culture, and L2 proficiency; amount of L2 input and L2 proficiency; and amount of L2 input and attitude toward the target language and target culture. A small-scale study was conducted with Korean L2 English students studying abroad in the USA. Ten participants completed a language background questionnaire, an attitude questionnaire, and an English proficiency test. The data collected via these instruments were analysed to determine if any correlations exist between the above-mentioned three sets of variables. Results showed no correlations between attitude and L2 proficiency. However, descriptive analysis showed a clear positive correlation to exist between several L2 input variables and L2 proficiency, and between L2 input and attitudes toward the target language.