Perceived impact of extra-curricular activities on foreign language learning in Canadian and Russian university contexts

Veronika Makarova, Anna Reva

University students, Extra-curricular activities, language learning


This paper surveys language-related extra-curricular activities (ECA) attended by university students in Canada and Russia. Very little information is available about ECA in both countries. The study aimed to gather data about extra-curricular activities in Canada and Russia and to investigate the perceived effect of participation in extra-curricular activities on language learning by university students in these countries. The study employed a questionnaire-based survey as a major research method. The questionnaire constructed by the authors included ‘yes/no’, multiple choice and open-ended questions. The total of 119 university students from both countries participated in the study. The participants’ responses to yes/no and multiple choice questions were entered on SPSS charts for descriptive statistics and an analysis across the groups (chi-square tests). The responses to open-ended questions were analyzed using key-word method. The results indicate that only about 1/3 of university students in both countries had some experience with ECAs. Russian students were more aware of the range of ECAs available through their universities. The array of language-related ECAs was different across the countries: Canadian students mostly attended ECAs that were offered through their universities, and Russian students – outside their universities. There was an agreement between the respondents from both countries that trips abroad were the most efficient form of ECAs. The evaluation of some other specific forms of ECAs showed significant differences across the two participant groups. The majority of respondents from both countries placed a high value on ECAs and thought that ECAs were beneficial for their language skills development.

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Apples - Journal of Applied Language Studies