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Date of Award


Document Type

Thesis - Pacific Access Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)


Intercultural Relations

First Advisor

Kent Warren

First Committee Member

Janet M. Bennett

Second Committee Member

Francisca Trujillo-Dalbey


This thesis aimed to study and analyze the intercultural and intracultural encounters of students enrolled in an ESL writing class at a large community college in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States. Two basic questions guided the study: first, how did ESL students from Korea react to each other as well as to students from other countries while studying English in the United States; and second, how did these reactions affect Korean students' perceptions of their ESL classes? The purpose of this study was to investigate the intercultural experiences of Korean learners in an intensive ESL program, and based on its findings, to suggest ways to improve intercultural relations in such classes. The study used reflective journals to ascertain Korean learners' perceptions of their intercultural encounters with classmates. The study findings demonstrated a surprising candor and sophistication on the part of Korean learners to express themselves about these encounters. Based on the research findings, recommendations were made for incorporating intercultural relations sensitivity training into ESL course curricula. This descriptive study contributed to the body of education literature that advocates focusing more attention on students' perceptions of their learning environment.



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