Foreign Language Learning in a Non-school Environment: Effects of Simulated Immersion Training on Affective Factors in Learners' Experience
Date of Graduation
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
International and Multicultural Education
International & Multicultural Education EdD
This study explored the effects of immersion training on the learner's affective behaviors such as motivation and attitude, anxiety, and self-confidence in foreign language acquisition at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center. Much research has been conducted on the effectiveness of immersion programs, but no previous research examined a short-term simulated immersion training that is integrated into a language course curriculum. Furthermore, no prior research exists on the effects of immersion on affective factors among military linguists.
This research method consisted of mixed quantitative and qualitative methods utilizing pretest score (DLAB), surveys, observations, and interviews. The study design was a two-group, quasi-experiment using a treatment and control group. A total of 42 participants took a pre- and a post-survey. DLAB and survey scores were analyzed using independent sample t-tests and ANCOVA using DLAB as a covariate. Interviews with 13 participants were conducted for an in-depth study of their affect during the immersion training experience.
Statistical analyses indicated that the immersion training did not have a strong positive effect on students' affect in learning foreign language. Only one ANCOVA, integrative motivation, was statistically significant with the experimental group students demonstrating higher scores than control group students.
Qualitative interview findings identified the emergent themes regarding students' beliefs about the impact of immersion training on foreign language learning language skills. These themes were: self-discovery and integrative motivation regarding motivation and attitudes; development of circumlocution strategy regarding anxiety; improved fluency regarding self-confidence; immersion as a life-like environment, a place for output, and a different context from the classroom.
While this research assessed the benefits of short-term immersion to supplement classroom instruction, adaptation to traditional classrooms should be considered. More research on curriculum-based short-term immersion programs in higher education would expand the current data base in order to determine the affective impact of immersion and to identify curricular implications.
McNiel-Cho, E. (2013). Foreign Language Learning in a Non-school Environment: Effects of Simulated Immersion Training on Affective Factors in Learners' Experience. Retrieved from https://repository.usfca.edu/diss/64