Introduction There is already a substantial body of research, starting around the 1990s, devoted to the analysis of stay abroad (SA) effects on SLA. Collentine and Freed (2004), DuFon and Churchill (2006), and DeKeyser (2007) constitute good examples. Most studies have focused on gains in specific skills in individual programs. Nevertheless, a new line of research in recent years has compared gains in SA contexts with those attained in at home (AH) courses, whether formal language classrooms or immersion programs. Studies have so far investigated lexical, grammatical, phonological, pragmatic and sociolinguistic gains as a result of SA. As for linguistic skills, reading, writing, and listening have received scant attention. Speaking has been by far the most researched skill, since improvement in this area is usually regarded as the major goal of study abroad. Such research, however, has produced mixed results so far.