NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
PDF on ERIC Download full text
ERIC Number: EJ1111863
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 21
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1535-0517
Closing the Communication Gap between Undergraduates and International Faculty
Villarreal, Dan
CATESOL Journal, v24 n1 p8-28 2012-2013
This mixed-method study addressed the "foreign TA problem," reconceptualizing it as the "communication gap," an issue created by multiple parties--including bias originating from undergraduates. Experimental sessions measured undergraduates' comprehension of 2 brief lessons taught by an international professor. Between lessons, participants completed 1 of 3 short modules: a bias-stimulation module, a control module, or a linguistic-training module (which confronted both accent misunderstanding and accent bias). While training did not affect comprehension, questionnaire responses revealed a positive effect of training on sociolinguistic attitudes. Follow-up discussion sessions explored undergraduates' experiences with international faculty and responses to the communication gap. Several important themes emerged from these discussions, including effects on academic plans, negative cognitive effects, and a model of undergraduates' socialization into accent bias. The article concludes with recommendations specifically geared toward TESOL professionals' ongoing efforts to close the communication gap, including a greater recognition of undergraduates' role in perpetuating the gap.
CATESOL. P.O. Box 9200-338, Fountain Valley, CA 92708. Tel: 714-907-4033; Fax: 888-832-0501; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A