This presentation centers on the homestay experience of a small group of Hong Kong Chinese pre-service non-native English speaking teachers (NNESTs) who participated in an eight-week faculty-led, credit-bearing English language and culture immersion program in the United Kingdom.
Quantitative and qualitative data (e.g., questionnaire surveys, semi-structured interviews, participants’ reflective reports) were collected in four phrases: pre-sojourn, during their short-term study abroad program, immediately post-sojourn, and four months post-sojourn. Based on the findings, this study focused on the expectations, the actual homestay experience during the sojourn, and their relationship between the two aspects.
Most of the participants regarded the homestay as one of the key components in their study abroad experience. However, the quality of their homestay experiences varied due to a mix of external (e.g., host receptivity) and internal factors (e.g., sociopragmatic awareness).
Drawing on the findings, suggestions are offered to facilitate the preparation of student sojourners (e.g. pre-sojourn advice, communication strategies, regular debriefing sessions), in gaining better awareness in language and intercultural learning in a study abroad context.