Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Hispanic Studies


Tennant, Jeff


Language study abroad offers the possibility of acquiring a multitude of competencies, linguistic and otherwise. While historically study abroad research has emphasized linguistic gains in isolation, it has gradually moved towards a more sociocultural approach whereby individual factors and intercultural competencies are seen as integral to the process of acquiring knowledge of a language. With remaining gaps in the literature, and as new instruments emerge, so too do new opportunities for tracking and measuring learning outcomes in innovative ways. The present study, framed by the intervention hypothesis and sociocultural theory, utilizes the social media platform Google+ as a space to develop participant-managed electronic portfolios (e-portfolios) for the purpose of in-depth metalinguistic reflection, paired with entirely online participant-researcher mediation. As such, this study builds upon the body of knowledge pertaining to second language acquisition in study abroad including pragmalinguistic awareness while also adding to the research available on its intersections within a 24/7 digitally connected world. Analysis of the data suggests that developing an e-portfolio and engaging with a mentor throughout the study abroad term, even at distance, may be contributory in enhancing a variety of linguistic capabilities including metalinguistic and metapragmatic awareness as well as heightened Spanish language proficiency.