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Date of Award



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Document Type

Thesis: EWU Only

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA) in English: Teaching English as a Second Language




"The present study was action research conducted in the winter of 2015 in English 101, an entry-level composition class required for all students at Eastern Washington University. The main purpose of the study was to (1) review the literature on current social experiences of ESL students in American universities, (2) build community between the international and domestic student bodies, (3) explore incorporating intercultural competence (IC) into an existing curriculum, and (4) attempt to increase students' intercultural competence. Eight American and one Saudi student voluntarily provided consent for their coursework to be analyzed and used in this study. The coursework comes from a modified 12-day essay exam unit that incorporates information about IC and intercultural experiences. The written materials were analyzed for elements of IC. Findings indicate that students associate IC with being knowledgeable, but they do not necessarily consider it a skill. Findings also indicate that students were not exposed to the materials long enough to fulfill some of the recommendations made by scholars for an effective curriculum such as experiential learning and perspective shifting. By incorporating IC into the curriculum, I was able to see that students did show definite signs of it in their written work. They showed an overall positive outlook on IC and began working on their concepts of culture and what it means to communicate effectively across difference. Therefore, I conclude that an effective IC curriculum would develop their IC"--Leaf iv.