Title page for ETD etd-11142005-112228

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Lee, Eunsil
Author's Email Address eulee1@vt.edu, eulee1@korea.com
URN etd-11142005-112228
Title Learning Language and Culture outside the Classroom: Korean Study Abroad Students' Experience
Degree PhD
Department Curriculum and Instruction
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Shrum, Judith L. Committee Chair
Billingsley, Bonnie S. Committee Member
Lockee, Barbara B. Committee Member
Nespor, Jan K. Committee Member
Song, Han K. Committee Member
  • second culture acquisition
  • second language acquisition
  • short-term study abroad
  • sociocultural theory
  • communication
  • interaction
  • qualitative study
Date of Defense 2005-11-07
Availability unrestricted
This qualitative study examined seven Korean students' language and culture learning experiences in a study abroad context. The purpose of this study is to gain insight about the processes of students' social interactions and development of communicative competence outside the classroom. My understanding and learning was guided by the framework of various communicative competence models, interactional practices, sociocultural theory, and cultural learning processes.

The findings of the study show that participation in outside-the-classroom interactions enhances students' language and culture learning in study abroad situations. However, living or working with native speakers did not necessarily mean that there were meaningful interactions. Social interaction with native speakers was challenging for language learners because of the cultural distances, discontinuity, and conflicts between them. Despite the difficulties in social and cultural interactions in the target culture, active participation in social interactions was still an important factor in language and culture learning. Verbalizing cultural issues such as cultural differences, misunderstandings, and observations of the target culture was an indication of the learners' cultural awareness and development.

Students believed that knowledge of grammar was an important factor for successful communication. At the same time, students were anxious about misunderstandings and miscommunication. I found that students easily engaged in interactions with their international peers, and these were less stressful than interactions with native speakers. This peer interaction eventually created opportunities for language learning. Students expected native speakers to correct their errors and to take roles as teachers of the target language even outside the classroom, but they also learned to initiate self-repairs and to ask for help. Engagement is the key to making a good conversation. The underlying condition for engagement is negotiation between two interlocutors to understand meanings.

  Filename       Size       Approximate Download Time (Hours:Minutes:Seconds) 
 28.8 Modem   56K Modem   ISDN (64 Kb)   ISDN (128 Kb)   Higher-speed Access 
  LeeBackMatters.pdf 180.07 Kb 00:00:50 00:00:25 00:00:22 00:00:11 < 00:00:01
  LeeBodyMatters.pdf 458.45 Kb 00:02:07 00:01:05 00:00:57 00:00:28 00:00:02
  LeeFrontMatters.pdf 43.80 Kb 00:00:12 00:00:06 00:00:05 00:00:02 < 00:00:01

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