Language and intercultural learning during study abroad. Maximizing L2 use intensity and intercultural contacts

Start - End 
2016 - 2022 (ongoing)
Department of Translation, Interpreting and Communication



This PhD project is an empirical contribution to the Study Abroad research field. It focuses on maximizing L2 use intensity and interactional contacts during Study Abroad (SA). The study examines the possible relations between Second Language (L2) use intensity, Social Network Formation and students’ Intercultural Communication Competenceduring a short study abroad experience. The project focuses on one specific claim in particular, namely that there is a link between L2 use intensity and ICC learning outcomes that can be triggered by fostering social networks while studying abroad. It is necessary to pay attention not only to the linguistic and intercultural outcomes but also to the learning process. The main objective is thus to foster interactional contact with native speakers during the experience abroad through a direct curricular intervention specifically designed for students departing on Erasmus to Spain. The main assumption is that a pedagogical intervention would strengthen the learning outcomes of the study abroad period. The design of this intervention is grounded in Cohen and Paige’s work (Paige et al. 2009) and the IEREST Project (Van Maele et al. 2016). The curricular intervention seeks to trigger the link between students’ language use and their intercultural learning by fostering interactional contact with native speakers.





Phd Student(s)


Carmen Pérez Vidal

Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona