Portland State University. Department of Applied Linguistics.
Date of Award
Master of Arts (M.A.) in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Teaching English as a Second Language
1 online resource (2, xi, 134 p.)
Intercultural communication -- United States, Language and culture -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- United States, English language -- Study and teaching (Higher) -- Foreign speakers
The concept of cultural mediation is one that all ESL teachers must deal with as an inherent part of their employment. Yet, relatively little of the current literature has examined how teachers actually perceive this aspect of their work once they have left the teacher preparation program behind. This question provided the main rationale for the present study. The current study, an adaptation of DeFoe (1986), examined the mediation of U.S. American culture in the ESL classroom by means of a written survey of 42 teachers from ten community colleges, both in the Portland/Vancouver metropolitan area and from around the state of Oregon. The four research questions of the present study sought to find a relationship between four independent variables--the kind of ESL that is taught, overseas exposure, cultural self-characterization, and explicit instruction in intercultural communication theory and practice--and how ESL teachers perceive their roles as each of these concern the four dependent variables of the study: being an example, explaining U.S. American culture, teaching interculturally, and listening and helping as a friend. A non-parametric Kruskal-Wallis analysis of the data revealed that none of the research questions achieved statistical significance. However, some of the findings did suggest several interesting relationships. The variable of cultural self-characterization did approach significance in relation to the dependent variable of explaining American culture. This, in connection with some of the findings for the respondent demographic data, appeared to indicate for this group of teachers that cultural self-perception may have exercised an influence on their explain of American culture. Second, intercultural communication theory and practice exposure seemed more of an aid to the respondents of this study in teaching about culture specific issues, as opposed to teaching about culture general issues. This would appear to raise a question as to how easily the theory and practice learned in the intercultural communication classroom translates to the ESL context.
Roberts, Steven Fredolph, "The Mediation of U.S. American Culture in the ESL Classroom" (1994). Dissertations and Theses. Paper 4786.