Despite the increase in the number of students studying abroad (SA) in China, there is still a dearth of empirical investigations about SA in China. Looking beyond China, SA seems neither to guarantee greater amount of L2 use nor to produce consistently desired proficiency gains (Freed, Segalowitz & Dewey, 2004). Evidence from qualitative studies concludes that students are not automatically immersed in their target language upon arrival (e.g. Wilkinson, 1998b). Instead, as newcomers to the L2 communities, they have to negotiate legitimate peripheral participation (Lave & Wenger, 1991). Such experiences seem related to SA students' L2 proficiency development (Kinginger, 2008), but this assumption needs further investigation through more qualitative studies on SA students in different countries (Kinginger, 2009). This case study therefore aims at investigating one Mandarin L2 learner's experience participating in social interactions with Chinese native speakers and the development of his turn taking patterns before, during and after his sojourn in China. The selection of turn taking was based on literature that suggests it reflects and shapes speakers' participation in different communities (Young, 2008), and has been an area for analysis in case studies (Duff, 2008). Through thematic analysis of the participant's journal entries and interviews, and discourse analysis of excerpts of his conversations in Mandarin before, during, and after his sojourn, the study concludes with some possible connections between participation and turn taking development in the SA setting.
Selected Proceedings of the 2010 Second Language Research Forum: Reconsidering SLA Research, Dimensions, and Directions
edited by Gisela Granena, Joel Koeth, Sunyoung Lee-Ellis, Anna Lukyanchenko, Goretti Prieto Botana, and Elizabeth Rhoades
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