The impact of a short-term language course abroad on Thai students’ language skills and affective factors
A short-term language course abroad in a native speaking country has become popular in Thailand. There is a dearth of studies on the impact of a course like this on Thai students. This research aims to investigate whether a short course abroad is crucial for Thai students’ language learning. The participants in this study were eighteen university students who participated in a one-month language course abroad. Before and after the trip, an English language test, a questionnaire and semi-structured interview were conducted. The pre-test/post-test scores were statistically analysed by t-test at p < .05. To supplement the test results, the questionnaire and the interview on attitude, motivation and anxiety were arranged. The results revealed that pre-test/post-test scores were significantly different for every component. The greatest improvement was shown in participants’ speaking scores; with most subjects’ speaking scores increasing by 10 to 30 points. From the questionnaire and interview, a lower level of anxiety after the trip was exhibited, whereas positive attitude and motivation before and after the trip were constantly at a high level. The better test scores on speaking skills seemed to relate to the level of anxiety. The experience abroad is likely to help Thai students with language performance.