Exploring Participants’ Expectations and Experiences of Short-Term Language Programs
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This study examines the concept of language learning as part of educational tourism with a particular emphasis on the participants enrolled in short-term English programs in Toronto. The purpose of this phenomenological study is to explore participants’ expectations prior to enrolling in a language program and their experiences throughout the program. Additionally, the researcher determines how their expectations were formulated, and what factors influenced their decision to participate in language programs. Despite the steady growth of the language school industry, it is surprising that so little research has been carried out into participants’ expectations and experiences. Furthermore, it is notable that only a few studies have explored non-native English students learning English as a second or foreign language abroad (albeit Eder et.al., 2010; Gertner, 2010; Miao & Harris, 2012; Foster, 2014). Regarding students’ expectations, some scholars have examined expectations but in regard to their academic achievements (Wilkinson, 1998; Badstübner & Ecke, 2009; Ketsman, 2012) not in relation to their experiences. Such studies were intended to explore the influence of students’ expectations on their academic performance before participating in language programs. This phenomenological study is grounded in a constructivist epistemology, within the interpretivist framework. 15 semi-structured interviews were carried out at three language schools in Toronto offering short-term English language programs in October and November 2016. Overall, this study fulfills a theoretical gap as limited studies have explored students’ expectations and their experiences while participating in short-term language programs. Furthermore, this study has the potential to benefit both language schools and students. Lastly, the research outcomes, emerged from this study, contribute to a better understanding of the language schools’ market.
Cite this work
Ekaterina McKnight (2018). Exploring Participants’ Expectations and Experiences of Short-Term Language Programs. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/12922