In this course, the student will gain proficiency in the skillful use of the language and will be able to refine the necessary tools to engage native speakers in fluid conversation, and will also be able to maintain a complex argumentation. In addition, this course emphasizes a language-in-use perspective. Students will develop their language skills and intercultural competence by means of research projects (‘field studies’), written assignments, debates, oral presentations, and critical reading of articles.
Research has demonstrated that study abroad can enhance every aspect of language ability. One of the most important general findings of this research is, however, that study abroad is most beneficial for the development of abilities related to social interaction. Students who go abroad are able to learn how to produce language in a variety of situations, such as the making of requests, the use of compliments, and apologies, and they also may develop skills to interpret such interactions within the local cultural context. In short, and logically, study abroad has been shown to enhance the aspects of communicative competence that are most difficult to foster in classroom settings (IES Abroad MAP for Language and Intercultural Communication, p. 6).