The Study Abroad and Language Acquisition (SALA) project: An overview

10th March 2020 : 13:00 - 14:00

Category: Seminar

Research Group: Applied Linguistics

Speaker: Carmen Pérez Vidal, Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Barcelona

Location: Department of Education, Seminar Room G/H

Convener: Hamish Chalmers

Audience: Public

Seminar Abstract


In this talk I will present the Study Abroad and Language Acquisition (SALA) project, which measured the effects of a compulsory three-month long ERASMUS Study Abroad programme in an English-speaking country, following Formal Instruction in the home country. The participants were Spanish/Catalan advanced English as a Foreign Language learners, from a Catalan university in Barcelona. The project followed them for three years and measured their progress at four data collection times in phonological production, oral and written complexity accuracy and fluency (CAF), listening, grammar, vocabulary, attitudes and intercultural awareness. Results by and large show that larger gains were obtained during the sojourn abroad, however. This was not the case for all language skills.


About the speaker


Carmen Pérez Vidal is currently an accredited full professor of Language Acquisition and English at the Department of Translation and Linguistic Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF), Barcelona, Spain. Her current research interests lie within the field of foreign language acquisition, child bilingualism, and the linguistic and non-linguistic effects of different learning contexts, namely Study Abroad, immersion (CLIL/EMI), and instructed second language acquisition (ISLA). On this topic she has been involved in a number of European funded projects and has conducted extensive research. She has published internationally in high impact journals in her field and has also contributed key chapters to different recent handbooks. She was the principal investigator of the Study Abroad and Language Acquisition (SALA) project (2004-2018), whose results were published in a John Benjamins’ volume entitled Language Acquisition in Study Abroad and Formal Instruction Contexts (2014). She also founded and directed the ALLENCAM lab at her university (2004 -2017). She launched and co-coordinated the AILA Research Network (ReN) on Study abroad and is currently vice-president of the Study Abroad in European Perspective (SAREP) COST Action.