Received: 13 October 2017
Accepted: 15 December 2017
Expanding Boundaries: Current and New
Directions in Study Abroad Research and Practice
The idea that the immersion experience indefectibly results in language development and
overall learner growth has been consistently questioned. What is already known about study
abroad? In what directions is the field moving in the 21st century?
California Polytechnic State University,
San Luis Obispo
In spite of advances in the understanding of the effects ofthe
immersion experience on language and cultural develop-
ment in the last three decades, many questions in study
abroad (SA) research remain unanswered. The present
article offers a close examination of the field as it is today
with an eye toward future trends and gaps in the literature.
The authors discuss how the field is being reshaped in
response to the preponderant role of new technologies in
research and educational practices; toconstantchallengesto
diversify access for minority students, including heritage
language learners; and to meeting the growing demands of a
globalized economy and workforce. Current trends in SA
program design such as the incorporation of service-
learning, volunteering, and internships into the SA
curriculum are also given special consideration. The article
focuses on language development first and then on the
Silvia Marijuan (PhD, Georgetown University) is Assistant Professor of Spanish and Applied Linguistics, California
Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo.
Cristina Sanz (PhD, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) is Professor of Spanish Linguistics; Chair, Department of
Spanish and Portuguese; Director, Barcelona Summer Study Abroad Program; and Director, Intensive Spanish and School
of Foreign Service Spanish Programs, Georgetown University, Washington, DC.
© 2018 by American Council on the Teaching of Foreign Languages
Foreign Language Annals. 2018;51:185–204. wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/flan