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 can learn to do things with words, such as requesting, apologizing, or offering compliments, and they may also learn to interpret situations calling such speech acts in ways that local people do…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).
Students who enter this level are able to function accomplish everyday needs required to live in a new culture. In this course, students will develop independence and autonomy so that, when communication does break down, they have enough tools at their disposal to resolve these challenges on their own. Students should welcome correction and guidance from their instructors, hosts, and others in the community as they progress. They will also begin to recognize their own and their peers’ errors. By the end of this course, students will begin to converse at a rate of speed approaching normal conversation. They will be more creative, spontaneous and self-reliant as they solve problems, interpret texts, negotiate, express their opinions, likes and dislikes in the culture. Although students will still make errors and experience communication breakdowns, they are much more likely to resolve these on their own. Students will understand a variety of colloquial expressions and slang, and will be able to understand a wider variety of native speakers from different backgrounds. By the end of this level, students will be capable of achieving the learning outcomes outlined below.