A road and a forest

conceptions of in-class and out-of-class learning in the transition to study abroad

Mayumi Kashiwa, Phil Benson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)


Adopting an ecological perspective on context in second language learning, this study investigated the ways in which a group of Chinese students reconceptualized and reconstructed their learning environments in the first 3 months of study abroad in Australia. Focusing on the students' conceptions of the relationship between in-class and out-of-class learning, the study identified a shift from a view that the two contexts were separated in study at home to a more integrated view in study abroad. However, this was a variable process, with some students adapting more quickly than others and some barely changing their conceptions at all. The study also found a relationship between students' awareness of the affordances of the study abroad setting and their agency in creating opportunities for out-of-class learning. It is suggested that teachers can help enhance study abroad participants' awareness and agency by allocating class time to discussion of their out-of-class learning experiences and by connecting classroom instruction to the world beyond the classroom.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)725-747
Number of pages23
JournalTESOL Quarterly
Issue number4
Early online date2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2018


Cite this