The effect of short-term study abroad on second language Spanish phonetic development

Silvina Bongiovanni 1 , Avizia Y. Long 1 , Megan Solon 2  and Erik W. Willis 1
  • 1 Indiana University, Bloomington, IN, USA
  • 2 University at Albany, SUNY, Albany, NY, USA
Silvina Bongiovanni, Avizia Y. Long, Megan Solon and Erik W. Willis


This study explores the impact of study abroad (SA) on second language Spanish phonetic development. Twenty-seven English-speaking learners of Spanish, 15 who were participating in a 4-week SA program in the Dominican Republic and 12 who were studying at their home (AH) institution, were recorded 5 weeks apart (at the approximate beginning and end of their respective programs). Recordings were analyzed acoustically, and four groups of segments were examined: word-initial /p t k/, intervocalic /b d ɡ/, intervocalic /ɾ/ and /r/, and word-final /l/. Productions at Time 1 and Time 2 as well as between the SA and AH groups were compared. Results suggested a minor benefit of the SA environment for phonetic development of some of the segments but with notable individual variation in both groups.

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This journal deals primarily with the linguistic analysis of Hispanic and/or Lusophone languages, which is interpreted broadly so as to include not only Spanish and Portuguese, but also Catalan, Galician, Spanish- and Portuguese-based creoles, and other such areas of investigation. Beside research articles, the journal also features book reviews, and articles on the current status and recent developments of work in specific subareas.