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ERIC Number: ED516128
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 204
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1240-1933-8
A Cross-Cultural Study of Adult English as a Second Language (ESL) Students: Cultural Differences and Instructional Strategy Preferences
Tan, Fujuan
ProQuest LLC, Ph.D. Dissertation, University of Wyoming
Adult education literature generally acknowledges the appropriateness of the incorporation of instructional strategies that stress students' prior experience. Whether this appropriateness applies to students from diverse cultural backgrounds, such as adult students in ESL programs, is not clear. Based on the assumption that students from different cultures may have different preferences toward instructional strategies, this study used a sequential mixed method to research the following questions: "Generally, are instructional strategies that stress students' prior experience preferred by adult ESL students regardless of cultural upbringing?" and "How do cultural differences affect students' perceptions of instructional strategies that stress students' prior experience?" A survey of perceptions of a large population of adult ESL students in the state of Wyoming was supplemented by three (Hispanic, Asian, and Arabic) focus group interviews. Survey results from 149 respondents, about one third of the adult ESL student population in Wyoming, and 16 focus group interviewees (selected from survey respondents) showed that adult ESL students favored a variety of instructional strategies and that some strategies were preferred by students from all the three ethnic groups. These respondents held a highly agreeable attitude toward instructional strategies that acknowledge their prior experience. Differences were expressed between cultural groups regarding how they preferred certain types of instructional strategies and the social-related functions of instructional strategies that stress students' prior experience. Students did report that instruction stressing their prior experience not only helps them to improve their English, but helps promote self-growth and practice social roles. Results of this study provide support for ESL instructors to generally incorporate instructional strategies that do stress students' prior experience into teaching, regardless of cultural background. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Adult Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Wyoming