Effectiveness of Having a Native Language Partner: Descriptive Analysis of Language Exchange Program
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The evaluation of the effectiveness of students’ out-of-class experiences is subject to difficulties including the complexity and uniqueness of self-access systems, difficulties with data collection and analysis, and the purpose of evaluation (Gardner, 1999, cited in Cotterall & Reinders, 2001). To evaluate these demands we ask how the interaction with native speakers of the target language impacts upon specific aspects of the students’ academic achievements. The primary aim of this paper is to explore this question in the case of the Language Exchange Program (LEP) at Curtin University in Western Australia. This paper reports data that was collected over a period of seven years on the effectiveness of the LEP on second/foreign language students’ performance. The particular focus is to validate the role of the LEP in the following three major interrelated aspects: LEP and students’ class attendance, LEP and end-of-semester oral examination performance, and LEP and overall academic results.
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