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Mainstream Social Participation Mediates the Relation between Mainstream Cultural Orientation and Language Outcomes


Mainstream Social Participation Mediates the Relation between Mainstream Cultural Orientation and Language Outcomes

Doucerain, Marina M. (2015) Mainstream Social Participation Mediates the Relation between Mainstream Cultural Orientation and Language Outcomes. PhD thesis, Concordia University.

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Competence in the mainstream language (L2) plays a critical role in migrants' cultural adaptation to a new society and is closely tied to psychosocial adjustment. A substantial body of work on acculturation and Second Language Acquisition (SLA) has shown that migrants with a more positive outlook on the mainstream cultural group report more favourable language outcomes, broadly conceptualized here as “linguistic adjustment”. However, the mechanisms underlying this outlook-language outcomes link have not been fully explored. Targeting this gap, the present research shows that migrants' social participation in the mainstream society (interpersonal interactions and relationships) mediates the relation between cultural orientation toward the mainstream cultural group and L2 outcomes. Five manuscripts, reporting on six studies of multicultural first-generation immigrant students to Montreal, examine different aspects of this mediation model.
First, Manuscript 1 discusses in detail the methodological issues facing acculturation research and that informed this dissertation. Second, two manuscripts provide empirical support for both quantitative and qualitative aspects of the relation between mainstream cultural orientation and social participation. Manuscript 2 reports on two longitudinal studies showing that more positive baseline mainstream cultural orientation prospectively predicts greater social participation. Manuscript 3 reports on two studies using a daily diary approach to show that moment-to-moment cultural affiliation during social interactions is related to characteristics of the local context and to mainstream cultural orientation. Third, Manuscript 4 shows that a more interconnected L2 social network, another aspect of mainstream social participation, is associated with lesser communication-related acculturative stress. Finally, Manuscript 5 uses a path analysis and provides evidence supporting the overall mediation model guiding this research. Together, these studies make a strong case for the role of social participation as a mechanism underlying the relation between mainstream cultural orientation and language outcomes.
In parallel, this dissertation aims to support two arguments: (1) methodological issues hinder progress in acculturation research and therefore it is essential to go beyond cross-sectional self-report attitudinal scales, and (2) integrating acculturation research in cross-cultural psychology and research on SLA in applied linguistics – two largely separate research strands – would greatly benefit our understanding of migrants' cross-cultural adaptation processes.

Divisions:Concordia University > School of Graduate Studies > Individualized Program
Item Type:Thesis (PhD)
Authors:Doucerain, Marina M.
Institution:Concordia University
Degree Name:Ph. D.
Program:Individualized Program
Date:1 September 2015
Thesis Supervisor(s):Ryder, Andrew G. and Segalowitz, Norman
Keywords:acculturation, immigration, second language learning, naturalistic language learning, social participation, social contact, cultural orientation, longitudinal, diary method, social networks, international students
ID Code:980423
Deposited On:28 Oct 2015 12:22
Last Modified:18 Jan 2018 17:51


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