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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


International Studies

First Advisor

Kent Warren

First Committee Member

Kimberley Brown

Second Committee Member

Robin Sakamoto


This study investigated the salient cultural variables in play in an adult TESOL classroom. Two instructors paired students and offered their rationales for having done so. They created 71 dyads, which were examined and categorized according to Storch's four patterns of interaction. Results showed that the instructor who created pairs according to certain student cultural variables had a 12% higher rate of acquisition-enhancing patterns than did the instructor who did not pair in this same fashion. Instructor rationales were then analyzed to determine which cultural variables were found to be most salient in the creation of each of the four interaction patterns. Among them were issues of facework, trust, cultural norm remaking, and role ascription or achievement. By extension, the findings showed that using cultural variables when pairing learners in the TESOL classroom might significantly enhance second language acquisition.





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