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Revitalizing Endangered Languages

Edited by Justyna Olko & Julia Sallabank

Revitalizing Endangered Languages "This guidebook provides ideas and strategies, as well as some background, to help with the effective revitalization of endangered languages. It covers a broad scope of themes including effective planning, benefits, wellbeing, economic aspects, attitudes and ideologies."

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Dissertation Information

Title: The Effect of Study Abroad on L2 Pragmatic Development: A longitudinal investigation Add Dissertation
Author: Wei Ren Update Dissertation
Email: click here to access email
Institution: University of Bristol, Applied Linguistics
Completed in: 2012
Linguistic Subfield(s): Pragmatics;
Director(s): Helen Woodfield

Abstract: The present study investigates the effect of study abroad on Chinese
learners' L2 pragmatic development longitudinally. Using the Multimedia
Elicitation Task (MET) and the Appropriate Judgment Task (AJT), the study
collected data from 20 Chinese graduate students studying abroad (SA) and
20 Chinese graduate students studying at home (AH) at three different
points during one academic-year. The SA students also completed a
retrospective verbal report (RVR) in each phase of the data collection.

Overall the study has evidenced the complexity in the effect of study
abroad on learners’ L2 pragmatic development. The results revealed that
study abroad did not affect the overall frequency of learners' choice of
opt-outs, nor did it significantly influence their overall frequency of
refusal modifications. However, study abroad did have an impact on the
repertoire of pragmatic strategies among the SA students, although the same
developmental trend was also observed in the AH students’ refusals.
Furthermore, a significant decrease in the overall frequency of refusal
strategies was only observed in the SA students’ data between Phase 2 and
Phase 3.

This study documented that study abroad did not affect the SA students'
overall ratings in the AJT. However, analyses of the SA students' RVR
evidenced that their noticing of pragmatic infelicities developed
significantly during their study abroad, indicating a positive influence of
study abroad in learners' L2 pragmatic perception development.

The analyses of the SA students' RVR revealed that the SA students paid
increasingly more attention to sociopragmatics when they read the MET,
whereas fewer SA students reported employing L1 as the language of thought
in fewer instances. The changes of the SA students' preference of
directness/indirectness indicated that they became more aware of the social
status during social interactions. Furthermore, the study also observed the
SA students’ pragmatic development across the three phases.