Study Abroad and Intensive Linguistic Immersion in Spain: Undergraduate Oral Proficiency for Short-Term Study Abroad


  • Dianne Burke Moneypenny Indiana University East
  • Rosalie S. Aldrich Indiana University East



Immersion, oral proficiency, second-language acquisition, short-term, study abroad


Study abroad is an important piece of the internationalization of curriculum and is particularly advantageous for second language learners. Many students study abroad to learn a language and the majority of students studying abroad enroll in shorter-term programs. Given their strong representation in the field of study abroad, the following article addresses second language students and oral proficiency in shorter-term study abroad programs. This study focuses on participants (n = 8) who spent three weeks in Spain. These students completed six credit hours of online spring semester coursework and signed an immersion contract for their three weeks abroad over the summer. Before departure and upon returning they took the Versant for Spanish test. Findings indicated that the three-week program abroad led to gains in overall Spanish oral proficiency as well as in vocabulary acquisition, fluency, and pronunciation skills.


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Author Biographies

Dianne Burke Moneypenny, Indiana University East

Dianne Burke Moneypenny is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of the Honors Program and Student Research at Indiana University East. Moneypenny’s research areas include study abroad, online teaching, oral proficiency, and Medieval Spanish literature.

Rosalie S. Aldrich, Indiana University East

Rosalie S. Aldrich, Ph.D., is the John and Corinne Professor, and Chair of the Department of Communication Studies at IU East in Richmond Indiana. Rosalie’s research interest and expertise is in suicide prevention and intervention, specifically focusing on the willingness to intervene with a suicidal individual. Her interest in examining study abroad stems from her personal experience as an undergraduate student where she studied for a semester at the University of Stirling in Scotland.


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How to Cite

Moneypenny, D. B., & Aldrich, R. (2024). Study Abroad and Intensive Linguistic Immersion in Spain: Undergraduate Oral Proficiency for Short-Term Study Abroad. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Study Abroad, 36(1), 640–659.



Research Articles