Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Languages and Cultures

Committee Chair

Lori Czerwionka

Committee Member 1

Daniel J. Olson

Committee Member 2

Felicia Roberts


This thesis examines the process of language socialization at the dinner table between native speakers and second language learners in the homestay setting of the study abroad experience. It specifically addresses the competencies affected in the development of second language learners of Spanish through the language socialization process at the dinner table with guidance from native Spanish speakers, as well as the specific strategies employed by native speakers to increase these competencies. These competencies and strategies were investigated through the use of naturalistic data obtained via video recordings of dinnertime conversations among host families and their host students. A qualitative approach was used to observe a total of 13 mealtime conversations among three host families and their students; a total of nine native Spanish speakers and six L2 learners of Spanish were observed. Results indicated that native speakers enhance learners’ linguistic, communicative, and intercultural competencies through the language socialization process. More importantly, data reveal that learners’ linguistic, communicative, and intercultural competencies were often simultaneously enhanced during interactions. Additionally, the data reveal that native speakers utilize the strategies of foreigner-talk, code-switching and nonverbal cues in their attempt to develop these competencies. Future research could explore the relationships among the three types of competencies observed in the current data and further analyze the variability in the language socialization experience.