The Acculturation Model in Second Language Learning: A Cross-Linguistic Study of a Group of English-Speaking Nigerian Immigrants Learning German as a Second Language in Germany

PhD Thesis


Ahamefule, L. 2019. The Acculturation Model in Second Language Learning: A Cross-Linguistic Study of a Group of English-Speaking Nigerian Immigrants Learning German as a Second Language in Germany. PhD Thesis University of East London Cass School of Education & Communities
AuthorsAhamefule, L.
TypePhD Thesis
Abstract

This study explores the experiences of a group of English-speaking Nigerian immigrants learning German as second language in Germany in a naturalistic and unstructured environment. The main aim of the study is to determine the extent to which the social and psychological distance factors of the Schumann Acculturation Model of SLA feature in the second language learning experiences of the group. By adopting a more social psychological approach, the study illustrates the integration patterns of immigrant minorities through the application of the Schumann model. The use of the model as the framework of the study enabled me to explore how the adult immigrants overcame different barriers in order to settle into a new environment. The study helps to fill the gap in SLA research carried out in the social context and the natural environment.
A case study research design was adopted for this investigation to explore the participants’ perceptions about their real-life experiences in learning German in a naturalistic setting. Within the case study design, the questionnaire, focus group and semi-structured interview methods were used to collect data in relation to the following three research questions: 1) which social distance factors if any, feature in the experience of the group Nigerian immigrants learning German in Germany? 2) which psychological distance factors, if any, feature in the experience of this group? 3) to what extent does the experience of this group shed light on the Schumann model and the socio-psychological issues in second language learning?
The analysis revealed that the group of immigrants were as strongly motivated to integrate into German society as they were determined to maintain the attachment to their cultural values. However, the group identified the lack of reciprocity from the host community as a factor potentially affecting their integration.
The study contributes to the view in literature (for example, Conrick and Donovan, 2010) that the integration of immigrants into the host community involves engagement with a wide range of new cultural practices of which language is a highly significant element. Most importantly, the study helps to develop further knowledge on a less researched area involving the diaspora Nigerian community in Germany.

Year2019
PublisherUniversity of East London
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.15123/uel.86y3v
File
License
File Access Level
Anyone
Publication dates
PrintJan 2019
Publication process dates
Deposited14 Aug 2019
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https://repository.uel.ac.uk/item/86y3v

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