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Short-term and long-term experiences of study abroad in Australia
thesisposted on 2022-03-28, 19:44 authored by Yeong Ju Lee
This study investigates language learning experiences of study abroad (SA) through a comparison between students of short-term and long-term programs in Australia. The study aims to examine how the programs influence their motivation, how their motivation influences their interactions with host nationals and integration into host communities, and how their motivation changes over the course of social interactions. Five students from short-term and another five students from long-term programs participated in this study over an eight-week period (a four-week period for each group). The study adopted narrative inquiry as a qualitative methodology, and utilised multiple data sources: interviews, journals, and classroom observations. Narratives were firstly collected from interviews and journals; secondly, compared against each source and with observational data; and lastly, synthesised into individual cases. The data were thematically analysed using NVivo, based on the theoretical framework of Complex Dynamic Systems Theory refined with Directed Motivational Current from a person-in-context perspective. This analysis procedure identified and categorised key motivational factors and behavioural patterns of motivation between the groups. The findings show that the participants’ language learning experiences varied between the two programs, due to their motivation which led them to engage in different learning opportunities of social interactions. The findings also reveal that although the program features influenced their motivation to a certain degree, they had their own dynamics of motivation and complexities of social interactions even in the same program. This study therefore provides insights into the understanding of the dynamics of motivation in language learning experiences of SA.