Social Capital and Language Acquisition during Study Abroad


We study the role of social capital in language acquisition during study abroad. Using data collected from 204 participants in Japanese study abroad programs, we show that students who leverage social capital through bridging relationships feel they achieve higher levels of language improvement. Furthermore, an analysis of the topics participants discuss with locals suggests that there are significant differences between students who have a tendency to build close-knit networks and students who cast a broader net.

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