Publication details [#66734]

Tracy-Ventura, Nicole, Amanda Huensch, Judith Bridges and Jhon A. Cuesta Medina. 2019. Variables affecting the maintenance of L2 proficiency and fluency four years post-study abroad. Study Abroad Research in Second Language Acquisition and International Education 4 (1) : 96–115.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This study explored the attrition/maintenance of second language (L2) proficiency by examining longitudinally the oral skills of a group of L2 French and L2 Spanish participants (n=33) four years after study abroad, and three years after completing an undergraduate degree in languages. Multiple regressions were conducted to determine the extent to which language contact/use and attained proficiency at the end of study abroad could predict changes in fluency and oral proficiency. Results demonstrated that those variables that improved significantly during study abroad(e.g., speech rate) were maintained four years later. The amount of target language contact/use played a role in maintenance of aspects of fluency such as speech rate and frequency of silent pauses, whereas proficiency attained at the end of study abroad played a role in the use of corrections. Both language contact/use and proficiency attained are important variables in the long-term maintenance of overall proficiency.