L2 learners generally expect that participating in an exchange program will help to develop their target language through various social interactions with local people. Collaborative activities in a program can enhance learners of opportunities for examining their target language, and for understanding culture, history, life style and so forth. In this study, 15 Japanese college students participated in the exchange program in Singapore. They engaged in a joint project with 16 Singaporean students, forming small groups. Giving a presentation to the entire groups partaking in the study was set as the goal of the joint project. The students from both countries discussed a project topic on-line over the course of one month, and finalized the presentation with face-to-face communication at the campus in Singapore. This paper aimed to investigate L2 learners of awareness of language ability in the target language and intercultural understanding through the experience of a short-term student exchange program in Singapore. A survey was conducted to evaluate the project-based activity among the group of Japanese students. Interviews for retrospective verbal reports were conducted in order to study the small group of the participants in depth, and were analyzed qualitatively. The students reported the improvement of their language ability as 4.0 out of a 5-point Likert scale. The valuable social activities with the local student resulted in positive changes in awareness of cultural differences.
Sachiyo Nishikawa, National Institute of Technology, Nara College, Japan
Stream: Education for intercultural communication
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