Study abroad and SLA: defining goals and variables

Coleman, James A. (2009). Study abroad and SLA: defining goals and variables. In: Berndt, Annette and Kleppin, Karin eds. Sprachlehrforschung: Theorie und Empire, Festschrift fur Rudiger Grotjahn. Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, pp. 181–196.



Study abroad is a centuries-old phenomenon, but has been a research topic for only forty years, during which time the principal focus has been on linguistic gain, within a broad Second Language Acquisition (SLA) paradigm. However, recent changes in SLA (notably the 'social turn�), new qualitative studies, and the recognition that study abroad lies within a broader educational context make it appropriate to re-examine what study abroad is for, and which factors have been identified as influencing its outcomes. This is the objective of Coleman's study abroad taxonomy (2006a, 2007) which is designed to allow greater comparability and generalisation across study abroad research. The taxonomy is here updated and a rationale provided for the selected contextual variables.

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