Date Approved

Spring 2001

Graduate Degree Type


Degree Name

Education (M.Ed.)

Degree Program

College of Education


Because of limited English proficiency and sociocultural knowledge, adult ESL students may be disadvantaged in determining, evaluating, and responding to American cultural demonstrations of power and authority through speech choices and nonverbal cues. As a first step toward a pedagogy that addresses this sociolinguistic need, this ethnography investigates aspects of power and language in the teacher-student relationship in the home countries of twenty-two adult ESL students. Student responses are analyzed and compared, and a pedagogical framework is proposed which may foster ESL students’ linguistic and social development toward greater access to information and a more informed process of enculturation into American society.


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