Date of Award

12-2019

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ded)

Department

Professional Studies in Education

First Advisor

Mark G. Twiest

Second Advisor

Susan M. Sibert

Third Advisor

Daniel R. Wissinger

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed-methods study was to document the empirical predictors of silence among Middle Eastern international students during their academic experiences at one university in the northeastern section of the United States. Applying Uncertainty Reduction Theory (Witt & Behnke, 2006), as a theoretical lens for this study, helped to explain and to explore the level of students’ comfort before, during, and after speaking in unacquainted or unpredictable settings. The present study used open-ended interviews (10 Participants) and three separate questionnaires (142 participants) to collect data: 1) Classroom Connectedness Climate Inventory [CCCI; 18 questions] (Dwyer et al., 2004), 2) Classroom Apprehension Participation Scale [CAPS; 20 questions] (Neer, 1987), 3) Willingness to Communicate [WTC; 19 questions] (McCroskey, 1992). Using the latest Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) program, a sequence of multi-level linear regression models was used to determine if any of the demographic variables were connected with student apprehension in the classroom. NVivo was utilized to analyze all transcribed interviews by developing different themes and nodes. This study showed significant correlation between student’s language ability, cultural norms, age, marital status and educational levels with their silence in the classroom.

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