Loading Map....

Date(s) - Jan 24, 2019 - Jan 25, 2019

Universitat de Barcelona

Categories No Categories



Study Abroad Research in European Perspective (SAREP)



Programme and Abstracts           



Thursday 24 January 2019
Time Event Presenter(s) Room
09.00 – 09.30 Welcome and introduction


Marianne Gullberg,  Jonas Granfeldt & Carmen Muñoz Tba
09.30 – 10.30 Keynote 1: Input factors in First Language Acquisition Heike Behrens
10.30 – 11.00 Coffee
11.00 – 12.30 Documenting L2 input and interaction during study abroad (SA): approaches, instruments and challenges


Rosamond Mitchell


Measuring the language input, uptake and intake of learners abroad Rebekah Rast, Marianne Starren & Marzena Watorek


12.30 – 14.00 Lunch
14.30 – 16.00 L2 gain or L2 pain? A comparative case study of the target language development among the Erasmus+ mobility students and home stay students Katarzyna Ożańska-Ponikwia & Angélica Carlet



Testing input effects in the LANGSNAP corpus – a qualitative study Anita Thomas
16.00 – 16.30 Coffee
16.30 – 17.30 Keynote 2: Second language interactions in the wild – co-constructing understanding and learning Johannes Wagner
20.00 – Workshop dinner Tba


Friday 25 January 2019
09.00 – 10.00 Keynote 3: Input in L2 learning: findings and measurement Carmen Muñoz
10.00 – 10.30 Coffee
10.30 – 12.00 How does image help vocabulary learning from TV input? Geòrgia Pujadas


Learning L2 Constructions from Multimodal Input Anastasia Plotnikova
12.00 – 13.30 Lunch
13.30 – 14.15 Breaking down Listening Comprehension: How does a Study-broad Decision Affect L2 Processing Accuracy and Vocabulary Xiaoru Yu
14.15 – 15.00 Time, space and input affordances Anne-Marie Devlin & Henry Tyne
15.00 – 15.30 Coffee
15.30 – 16.30 Keynote 4: Input in the digital wild : online informal and non-formal learning and their effects on second language acquisition Geoffrey Sockett
16.30 – 17.00 Roundtable discussion
17.00 – 17.30 Closure Marianne Gullberg,  Jonas Granfeldt & Carmen Muñoz


Venue: The workshop will take place at the Historic building of the University of Barcelona, which is the conference site (C/ Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585 – 08007 Barcelona, Spain). Click HERE to find this location on Google Maps.





(in alphabetical order)

Input Factors in First Language Acquisition


Heike Behrens

University of Basel


According to usage-based theories of first language development, all of language is learned through the analysis of the input by general learning mechanisms such at pattern recognition for morphosyntax and intention reading for the semantic-pragmatic analysis (Tomasello, 2003). It is increasingly clear that input has effects on the entire lifespan, such that the intermediate and ultimate attainment in the L1 depends on the exposure to and interaction with language and is therefore subject to large individual differences effects (Dąbrowska, 2012, 2015; Hart & Risley, 1995; Kidd, Donnelly, & Christiansen, 2017; Kuhl, 2010). By and large, young children end up talking like their parents (Behrens, 2006; Hart & Risley, 1995; Pine, 1994). Input analysis in L1 draws on a number of mechanisms: Pattern recognition through statistical learning attunes learners to prosody and syllable structures, as well as transitional probabilities between syllables as cues to segmentation (Romberg & Saffran, 2012; Saffran, Newport, & Aslin, 1996). The distributional patterns of the input matter for these processes. Intention reading focusses on the semantic-pragmatic analysis of the input. The quality of the input and the interaction, also sometimes called cultural learning (Tomasello, 2016a, 2016b) has come into focus. Here, aspects of social cognition like joint attention and elaboration of a joint project (Clark, 1996) play a role.

The arena for input in second language acquisition is different, although similar segmentation and generalization mechanisms can be assumed. In adult L2 learners certain attentional biases might need to be “retuned” (MacWhinney, 2012). They can profit from smartly designed input modifications that take their current state of acquisition into account. I will present findings from a large-scale input optimization study in an SA L2-classroom situation to show how input frequency helps to induce pattern recognition of a new structure, and pattern extension at a more advanced stage (Madlener, 2016).


Ambridge, Ben, Kidd, Evan, Rowland, Caroline F., & Theakston, Anna L. (2015). The ubiquity of frequency effects in first language acquisition. Journal of Child Language, 42(2), 239-273. doi:10.1017/S030500091400049X

Behrens, Heike. (2006). The input-output relationship in first language acquisition. Language and Cognitive Processes, 21(1-3), 2-24. doi:10.1080/01690960400001721

Braine, Martin D. S. (1971). The acquisition of language in infant and child. In C. Reed (Ed.), The learning of language. New York: Appleton-Century-Crofts.

Clark, Herbert H. (1996). Using language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Csibra, Gergely, & Gergely, György (2009). Natural pedagogy. TRENDS in Cognitive Sciences, 13, 148–153. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2009.01.005

Dąbrowska, Ewa. (2012). Different speakers, different grammars: Individual differences in native language attainment. Linguistic Approaches to Bilingualism, 2(3), 219-253. doi:10.1075/lab.2.3.01dab

Dąbrowska, Ewa. (2015). Language in the mind and in the community. In Jocelyne Daems, Eline  Zenner, Kris Heylen, Dirk Speelman, & Hubert Cuyckens (Eds.), Change of Paradigms – New Paradoxes: Recontextualizing Language and Linguistics (pp. 221-236). Berlin: de Gruyter.

Ellis, Nick C., Römer, Ute, & O’Donnell, Matthew B. . (2016). Usage-based approaches to language acquisition and processing: Cognitive and corpus investigations of construction grammar Wiley-Blackwell.

Hart, Betty, & Risley, Todd R. (1995). Meaningful differences in the everyday experience of young American children. Baltimore: Brookes Publishers.

Kidd, Evan, Donnelly, S., & Christiansen, Morten H. (2017). Individual differences in language acquisition and processing. Trends Cogn Sci. doi:10.1016/j.tics.2017.11.006

Kuhl, Patricia K. (2010). Brain mechanisms in early language acquisition. Neuron, 67, 713-727. doi:10.1016/j.neuron.2010.08.038

MacWhinney, Brian. (2012). The Logic of the Unified Model. In Susan M. Gass & Alison Mackey (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Second Language Acquisition (pp. 211-227). London and New York: Routledge.

Madlener, Karin. (2016). Input optimization: Effects of type and token frequency manipulations in instructed second language learning. In Heike Behrens & Stefan Pfänder (Eds.), Experience Counts: Frequency Effects in Language (pp. 133-173). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

Mintz, Toben H. (2003). Frequent frames as a cue for grammatical categories in child directed speech. Cognition, 90(1), 91-117. doi:10.1016/s0010-0277(03)00140-9

Moran, S., Blasi, D. E., Schikowski, R., Kuntay, A. C., Pfeiler, B., Allen, S., & Stoll, S. (2018). A universal cue for grammatical categories in the input to children: Frequent frames. Cognition, 175, 131-140. doi:10.1016/j.cognition.2018.02.005

Pine, Julian M. (1994). Environmental correlates of variation in lexical style: Interactional style and the structure of the input. Applied Psycholinguistics, 15(3), 355-370.

Romberg, Alexa R., & Saffran, Jenny R. (2012). Expectancy learning from probabilistic input by infants. Frontiers in Psychology, 3, 610. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00610

Saffran, Jenny R., Newport, Elissa L., & Aslin, Richard N. (1996). Word segmentation: the role of distributional cues. Journal of Memory and Language, 35, 606-621.

Suskind, Dana. (2015). Thirty million words: Building a child’s brain. New York: Dutton.

Tomasello, Michael. (2003). Constructing a language: A usage-based account of language acquisition. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Tomasello, Michael. (2016a). Cultural learning redux. Child Development, 87(3), 643-653. doi:10.1111/cdev.12499

Tomasello, Michael. (2016b). The ontogeny of cultural learning. Current Opinion in Psychology, 8, 1-4. doi:10.1016/j.copsyc.2015.09.008






Input in L2 learning: findings and measurement


Carmen Muñoz

University of Barcelona


This talk will first present research findings from studies showing the role played by input in different foreign language learning scenarios (the regular foreign language classroom, the CLIL classroom, summer camps, out-of-school exposure at home, and study abroad), and with different learner characteristics (age and gender). The second part will focus on issues concerned with the measurement of input and the instruments used in those studies (questionnaires, interviews, online applications), and their respective advantages and pitfalls.


Input in the digital wild : online informal and non-formal learning and their effects on second language acquisition


Geoff Sockett

Université Paris Descartes


While educators seek to optimise the conditions of classroom language learning, it often appears that significant language learning takes place in the online private worlds of learners. This learning may simply take place in the context of extensive exposure to input in the form of foreign-language television series, vlogs or songs, or it may involve some resources designed for language learning, such as popular language learning apps or even the Erasmus programme’s own Online Learning Support platform. What does current research tell us about such activities? Can language acquisition take place in these contexts? If so and how might such acquisition be assessed and certified?



Second language interactions in the wild – co-constructing understanding and learning


Johannes Wagner

University of Southern Denmark


The paper takes its departure in the current literature about second language interactions in the life world of learners, i.e. outside of classrooms. There is a growing understanding that learning new elements of the second language often starts with trouble in the talk. Usually the participants draw on all available resources to achieve understanding which may include translanguaging, paraphrases, candidate formulations, corrections, etcetera, as well as the use of embodied resources . The relation between these forms of trouble shooting and acquiring a second language is a hot topic in the literature and the paper will discuss some longitudinal studies which try to make the link. The paper will as well describe several sequential positions in the talk in which trouble is indicated and resolved, and point towards possible consequences for supporting language learning in interaction. Finally the paper will discuss some recent work on study abroad interactions.









(in alphabetical order)

Time, space and input affordances


Anne-Marie Devlin

University College Cork


Henry Tyne

Université de Perpignan Via Domitia


In this paper we focus on narrative description of input affordances. By contrasting similar events retold by learners having spent differing amounts of time in the target community, we aim to explore the qualitative nature of time and space from an emic perspective. The Study Abroad context has been reconceptionalised not as a monolithic physical location, but as a transnational setting for an “infinite number of dynamic, socially-constructed language learning spaces which construct and are constructed by the learner, participants and social needs” (Devlin, 2018). The paradigm of learner has likewise moved beyond the parameters of traditional Study Abroad research. For the purpose of this study, learners are situated within the broader transnational framework (Faist, 2000), i.e. as people who use an L2 to negotiate the “continuing dynamic between structure and agency” (Chaloyan, 2017) within a transnational space. Subjective accounts of moments of language use and acquisition (cf. Murphy-Lejeune, 2002) are thus seen as a means of bringing to light the meaningfulness of individual understandings and how they serve to support speakers as they come to terms with particular events in their lives. It is the interplay between personal factors, structures and the role played by language that forms the heart of our study. We conclude that narratives provide important insights for enhancing our understanding of how language users relate to the potentialities of input during immersion, providing important personal and subjective data to supplement other more objective measures.


Chaloyan, A. (2017). Transnationalism and Diaspora. Analytical Frameworks. Fluctuating Transnationalism. Wiesbaden: Springer VS.

Devlin, A. M. (2018). The interaction between duration of study abroad, diversity of loci of learning and sociopragmatic variation patterns: A comparative study. Journal of Pragmatics, 1–16.

Faist, T. 2000, The volume and dynamics of international migration and transnational social spaces. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Murphy-Lejeune, E. 2000, Student mobility and narrative in Europe: The new strangers. London: Routledge.


Documenting L2 input and interaction during study abroad (SA): approaches, instruments and challenges


Rosamond Mitchell

University of Southampton


A major rationale for study abroad is the supposedly enhanced opportunities available to sojourners for L2 input and L2 interaction. However, these opportunities are affected both by variations in the institutional and social L2 affordances of SA, in different settings, and also by the varying agency and motivation of sojourners in seeking L2 engagement (Mitchell, Tracy-Ventura & McManus, 2017). Consequently, researchers have developed a range of approaches to documenting L2 engagement, and have tried to relate these to measures of L2 development, but with somewhat mixed success.

This paper reviews different approaches to the documentation of SA input. Researchers have frequently relied on participant self-report, using questionnaires, journals, or language logs (see review by Dewey, 2017). Interviews have also provided narrative accounts of L2 use (Kurata, 2011). We will pay particular attention to the popular Language Contact Profile of Freed, Dewey, Segalowitz & Halter (2004), and later questionnaires which address some limitations of the LCP (Mitchell et al., 2017; Martínez-Arbelaiz, Areizaga & Camps, 2017). The limitations of all forms of self-report are examined critically, and ways of enhancing its validity and reliability suggested.

The paper also examines the contribution of direct observation and recording of L2 input and interaction during SA, an approach with apparently great potential for the study of acquisition, but which poses ethical and practical challenges. The most usual method has been to enlist participants as research collaborators and have them undertake self-recording with L2 interlocutors, at mealtimes (Kinginger, 2015; Kurata, 2011; Pekarek Doehler & Berger, 2018; Wilkinson, 2002) in service encounters (Kaltschuetz, 2014) and during informal lingua franca conversations (Behrent, 2007). In practice, this tradition has focused mostly on interaction rather than on input, and analyses have prioritized pragmatic and sociocultural development. Ways of refocusing this tradition more clearly on linguistic development are explored.


Behrent, S. (2007). La communication interalloglotte. Paris: L’Harmattan.

Dewey, D. P. (2017). Measuring social interaction during study abroad: Quantitative methods and challenges. System, 71, 49-59.

Freed, B. F., Dewey, D. P., Segalowitz, N., & Halter, R. (2004). The Language Contact Profile. Studies in Second Language Acquisition, 26, 349-356.

Kaltschuetz, D. (2014). Study abroad and the development of L2 requests: the development of pragmalinguistic behaviour as operationalised in request realisations of UK based study abroad students in Germany/Austria. (PhD), University of Southampton.

Kinginger, C. (2015). Language socialization in the homestay: American high school students in China. In R. Mitchell, N. Tracy-Ventura, & K. McManus (Eds.), Social interaction identity and language learning during residence abroad (pp. 53-74): European Second Language Association.

Kurata, N. (2011). Foreign language learning and use: interaction in informal social networks. London: Continuum.

Martínez-Arbelaiz, A., Areizaga, E., & Camps, C. (2017). An update on the study abroad experience: language choices and social media abroad. International Journal of Multilingualism, 14(4), 350-365.

Pekarek Doehler, S., & Berger, E. (2018). L2 interactional competence as increased ability for context-sensitive conduct: a longitudinal study of story-openings. Applied Linguistics, 39(4), 555-578.

Wilkinson, S. (2002). The omnipresent classroom during summer study abroad: American students in conversation with their French hosts. Modern Language Journal, 86(2), 157-173.




L2 gain or L2 pain? A comparative case study of the target language development among the Erasmus+ mobility students and home stay students


Katarzyna Ożańska-Ponikwia

University of Bielsko-Biala


Angélica Carlet

Universitat Internacional de Catalunya


The Erasmus+ exchange programme has become very popular, with the numbers of student sojourners growing each year. At the same time, it was widely observed that not all students benefit equally from the study abroad experience (c.f. Kinginger, 2008, 2009; Marijuan & Sanz, 2018; Regan, Howard & Lemée, 2009). Consequently, the main aim of the present study was to have a closer look at various factors that might contribute to the development of the target language among two small groups of students that self-selected themselves to do their language teaching practicum abroad, as a part of the Erasmus+ mobility program (n=6),  or to do it at the local schools in the country of their residence (n=5). Both groups were examined prior their departure and after their arrival with a battery of tests that included: Oxford Placement test, Self-reported proficiency questionnaire, oral proficiency test based on Cambridge Advanced exam, Language Engagement Questionnaire, Multicultural Personality Questionnaire  (MPQ), Big Five Personality Questionnaire and Trait Emotional Intelligence Questionnaire (TEIQue). Our findings demonstrated that the majority of the Erasmus+ mobility program students examined in this study showed some greater linguistic progress when it comes to grammar and speaking in comparison to the home stay students. However, there were two cases that failed to progress after the stay abroad experience. Further analyses and interviews showed that some sociopsychological factors like attitudes, language engagement and satisfaction from the Erasmus experience might in fact influence and shape target language development while abroad. At the same time, it could be speculated that in the case of researched informants their  progress in grammar and speaking could be assigned mostly to the amount and quality of the language input outside of the classroom setting.

The data collection and analyses were possible thanks to the COST Action CA15130 Short Term Scientific Mission (STSM) grant.




Learning L2 Constructions from Multimodal Input


Anastasia Plotnikova

University of Barcelona


Captions, also known as L2 subtitles, are the transformation of soundtrack into written text in the same language. Only a limited amount of research has been conducted on the role of captions on grammar learning, though there is some minimal research using L1 subtitles (d’Ydewalle & Van de Poel, 1999; Van Lommel et al., 2006). The participants of these studies were exposed to only one viewing of the subtitled video and it resulted in modest language gains. Hence, it was suggested that grammar might be too complex to be learnt from a single exposure to subtitles or captions. Nevertheless, it appears possible that captioning may lead to grammar acquisition while watching the video as this involves multimodal input consisting of the text, sound, and picture (e.g. Rodrigo, 2006; e.g. Kuppens 2010; Matielo et al., 2015; Vanderplank, 2016). The existing gap in the research on the effects of captioning on grammar learning indicates the need to explore to what extent this learning can occur with multimodal input including captions.


Additionally, it is also important to measure how much multimodal input is needed to acquire L2 grammar constructions (Kusyk and Sockett 2012, Sockett and Kusyk, 2015).

We are currently conducting a study on the learning of English constructions through captioned video exposure. Our study also attempts to measure the multimodal input received out of class and see whether informal watching of English captioned media might improve student’s learning of grammar constructions. The ongoing research includes 8 weeks of collecting weekly questionnaires (either on paper or on an app) about students’ exposure to English media outside of the classroom (e.g. how many hours do they spend receiving multimodal input through watching original version TV series or movies per week). In analysing the data, it is hoped that answers will be gained for the following research questions:


1) Is multimodal input valuable for learning L2 grammar constructions?

2) Is there a correlation between the amount of multimodal input (in hours) and learning of L2

grammar constructions?

3) How much multimodal input is needed to acquire certain L2 grammar constructions?




How does image help vocabulary learning from TV input?


Geòrgia Pujadas

University of Barcelona


A number of studies have shown that multiple input modalities are robust tools for L2 learning, as they expose the learner to a higher amount of input simultaneously (e.g. Vanderplank, 2016). The activation of verbal and non-verbal stimuli results in a better recall and greater depth of processing, explaining why L2 learning can be enhanced by combining visual images with verbal information (Sydorenko, 2010). Captioned TV series add, besides sound and text, a meaningful visual support and an authentic contextualization of the language use. But what type of words do we learn better in this context?

A number of word-related factors are thought to play a role in vocabulary learning through TV input, among them frequency, prior vocabulary knowledge and word relevance (Peters and Webb, 2018), but little attention has been directed towards factors related to the videos themselves. Research indicates that television can help learn unknown words as on-screen images provide semantic support (Rodgers, 2018), and that the simultaneous presentation of text and image can lead to greater learning (e.g. Mayer et al., 1999). This paper aims at exploring which video-related factors (i.e. frequency and imagery) can predict what words will be more memorable than others, and how learner-related variables (i.e. age and proficiency) and type of instruction (i.e. pre-teaching words) influence those factors.

Participants were 46 secondary school students (Grade 8) and 70 university students who took part in a 3-month classroom intervention, in which they watched 8/9 episodes of two TV series under two different experimental conditions (instruction vs. non-instruction). A total of 40/45 target words (TWs) were selected for the study, and prior knowledge of the TWs was tested by means of a word recall test. Vocabulary gains will be discussed in light of video-related factors, as well as type of instruction, proficiency and age.






Measuring the language input, uptake and intake of learners abroad


Rebekah Rast

The American University of Paris & UMR-SFL, CNRS

Marianne Starren

Radboud University


Marzena Watorek

University Paris 8 & UMR-SFL, CNRS


The potential for learners in Study Abroad (SA) contexts to receive and interact with large amounts of high quality input is certainly not in doubt. The questions are, rather, how to optimize situations in which such input is available for learners to act upon, and how to operationalize and measure this input to ensure that the quality and quantity are indeed high. This paper addresses these questions through the lens of first exposure studies of second language acquisition in which the input is controlled in such a way that it can be compared to aspects of learners’ uptake and intake, measured by their performance on a variety of target language tasks. We briefly describe several methods and tools used in first exposure studies to observe, document and measure input and its role in language development, and we provide practical suggestions for applying and adapting these methods to both instructed and ambient host language input in the Study Abroad context. The session will conclude with an interactive exchange about the viability and validity of these methods and techniques in actual practice in the SA context.




Testing input effects in the LANGSNAP corpus – a qualitative study


Anita Thomas

University of Fribourg, Switzerland


The aim of this presentation is to explore the possibility to study input effects in a corpus documenting longitudinal development in study abroad context such as the LANGSNAP corpus (Mitchell et al. 2017).

There are several ways of measuring the influence of input. One way is to compare L2 learner production with data representing possible learner input, such as a group of native speakers or data from a larger target language corpora. This might be necessary in contexts where the concrete input is difficult to control. In the case of longitudinal data a convergence between the input data and the learners’ production after some exposure could be interpreted as an influence of input frequency. Another way of measuring input effects is to establish an ‘input profile’ reflecting opportunities for input, output and interaction for a specific learner at a specific moment in time and to relate them with changes in the development of the target language. In this case it is necessary to examine the development of different linguistic aspects to distinguish internal development effects from input effects (Dimroth 2018).

I will present a pilot study with five learners of French from the LANGSNAP corpus having different levels of general proficiency at presojourn and different levels of development (Mitchell et al. 2017: 79). I will concentrate on the production of negation (ne … pas) and the imparfait, for which the developmental stages are well documented. The analysis will be restricted to the interviews as they could reflect usual language production. The results will be compared to what is found in the native speakers of the same corpus and the learners’ input profiles established from the information given in the interviews.


Dimroth, C. (2018). Beyond Statistical Learning: Communication Principles and Language Internal Factors Shape Grammar in Child and Adult Beginners Learning Polish Through Controlled Exposure. Language Learning, 0(0). doi:10.1111/lang.12294

Mitchell, R., Tracy-Ventura, N., & McManus, K. (2017). Anglophone Students Abroad: Identity, Social Relationships, and Language Learning. New York: Taylor & Francis.



Breaking down Listening Comprehension: How does a Study-broad Decision Affect L2 Processing Accuracy and Vocabulary


Xiaoru Yu

Radboud University


This paper examines listening proficiency of EFL learners from three learning contexts, differing mainly with regard to the amount of language exposure. Taking second language acquisition as both knowledge accumulation and processing automatization, we investigate whether the two processes are equally sensitive to different learning contexts. L2 listening proficiency assessment is often about comprehending spoken passages, whereas we present learners with isolated words and sentences to target different levels of the comprehension process. More specifically, a word-picture matching task, a sentence-picture matching task and a sentence verification task are used to tap into aspects of lexical access, syntactic parsing and semantic proposition formation. The Peabody Picture Vocabulary test is employed to measure a form of knowledge accumulation, i.e., auditory receptive vocabulary. Three groups of Chinese EFL learners (i.e., high, medium and low exposure groups), together with a native English speaker group whose performance is taken as a reference point, are included in this study. The high exposure group includes 52 English majors who had English medium education, the medium exposure group includes 53 non-English majors who had learned English intensively in preparation for studying abroad, and the low exposure group of 60 non-English majors who had Chinese medium education. The results indicate that vocabulary size increased significantly along with language exposure across the three EFL groups. However, the high and medium exposure groups did not differ significantly in language processing accuracy, but they significantly outperformed the low exposure group. The results also show that non-English majors who had been actively preparing for studying abroad achieved better language processing accuracy and larger vocabulary than their non-English major counterparts who had not. These results suggest that L2 knowledge accumulation and processing automatization may not proceed in parallel for EFL learners from different learning contexts.


Local organizer: Professor Carmen Muñoz (Barcelona)

Venue: University of Barcelona

Working group 1 leaders: Jonas Granfeldt (Lund) & Marianne Gullberg (Lund)



Carmen Muñoz, Jonas Granfeldt, Marianne Gullberg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *