2009 Student Research Conference:
22nd Annual Student Research Conference

Communication Apprehension Among Students Acquiring Spanish as a Second Language
Jesslyn R. Tenhouse
Dr. Diane Johnson and Dr. Juan C. Valencia, Faculty Mentors

An increasing number of university students choose to study Spanish. Many students study the language abroad. Study abroad students spend more hours communicating and interacting in the target language, which would seem to put them at an advantage compared to those students whose learning takes place "at home." Past research fails to pinpoint a distinct benefit of studying abroad in terms of increased language proficiency based on grammatical standards. Some studies suggest that study abroad students display increased levels of communication competence. However, past research fails to investigate if the communication competence exhibited by study abroad students relates to lower communication apprehension levels. This study uses McCroskey's long-standing definition of communication apprehension in order to investigate students learning Spanish and to see if those who have studied abroad exhibit differing communication apprehension levels from those whose learning occurred "at home" when the students communicate in the same university-level, conversation-based Spanish course.

Keywords: communication apprehension, study abroad, Spanish, second language acquisition, communication competence

Study Abroad

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 56-1
Location: VH 1010
Time: 2:45

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