L2: Volume 8 Issue 2

“I Thought That When I was in Germany, I Would Speak Just German”: Language Learning and Desire in Twenty-first Century Study Abroad

We live in a time of unmatched global mobility and correspondingly, the number of U.S.-American students studying abroad continues to increase. For years now, applied linguists have displayed an increased interest in study abroad students’ perspectives and desires about second language (L2) learning and use while abroad. Yet few studies have analyzed how these students’ beliefs and desires are shaped by the broader discourses regarding monolingualism and diversity that surround them. This paper thus investigates the experiences of two U.S.-American students during their year abroad in Marburg Germany, considering …

Politicizing Study Abroad: Learning Arabic in Egypt and Mandarin in China

This paper examines ideologies of American study abroad in politically and culturally “non-Western” countries. Drawing from the theory of orientalism (Said, 1978), we analyze how American public discourse on study abroad for learners of Mandarin and Arabic manifests an orientalist thinking, and how such macro discourse both produces multilingual subjects (Kramsch, 2010) and considerable tensions with the micro discourses of these subjects. Our findings show …

An Activity Theoretical Approach to Social Interaction During Study Abroad

This case study examines the orientation to social interaction by one study abroad student who spent a semester in Spain. Using an activity theoretical approach, the findings indicate that the student did not only view social interaction with his Spanish host family and a expert-Spanish-speaking age peer as an opportunity for second language (L2) learning, but also had other goals for the interactions such as relationship building and enjoyment. The analysis further highlights …

Echoes of Postfeminism in American Students’ Narratives of Study Abroad in France

In qualitative research on Americans in study abroad contexts, female gender often emerges as problematic, with young women portrayed as hapless victims of sexual harassment. The assumption underlying interpretation of these studies appears to maintain that female students are victimized because they find themselves in places where inherently superior American discourses of gender equity do not prevail. Meanwhile, however, scrutiny of participants’ stories reveals deeper mysteries, to do with  gender trouble from home that students bring to their experiences abroad. This paper adopts a narrative approach to interview and journal data from a previous study in which …

Becoming Global Elites Through Transnational Language Learning?: The Case of Korean Early Study Abroad in Singapore

Since the late 1990s, early study abroad (ESA) in English-speaking countries has been a popular educational strategy for pre-university Korean students to acquire important language skills such as global English, which is imagined to help them prepare for the competition in global educational and occupational market. However, as ESA, commonly known as jogi yuhak, became a prominent educational strategy among Korean middle class Korean, the destination for Korean Study Abroad began to diversify, showing significant increase of Korean Study Abroad in non-Western countries. For instance, Singapore has emerged …