Oral language development among Mandarin learners in Chinese homestays

Wenhao Diao, Anne Donovan, Margaret Malone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This mixed-method study describes the oral Mandarin development of 25 American students living in Chinese homestays, and how it may relate to the ways they respond to opportunities for interaction with their host families. While scholars have begun to examine students' Mandarin development during their sojourns in China, there is little research regarding changes in their holistic oral proficiency and how such changes may be related to the quality of interaction they have with their interlocutors. The results of this study show robust gains in proficiency ratings of their oral performances over the course of one semester. A case study of two purposefully selected student performances - one who demonstrated the most prominent proficiency gains and the other who showed no gains - reveals differences in the ways they respond to opportunities for interaction. These findings provide suggestions on ways to best facilitate students' learning experience while living with host families.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)32-57
Number of pages26
JournalStudy Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2018


  • Homestay
  • Mandarin Chinese
  • Oral proficiency
  • Second language learning
  • Study abroad

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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