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Abstract

International students entering U.S. universities are faced with many challenges, including classroom pragmatics, which are seldom taught. When determining what constitutes polite and impolite behavior in the classroom, they may have preconceived ideas of U.S. classroom culture, which may or may not be true. This study explores these notions through multiple lenses: the ethnographer, the students themselves, and their teachers. Results of observations, surveys, and interviews indicate that perceptions of polite and impolite behaviors do vary, depending on linguistic and cultural background. Implications for pedagogy include direct teaching of cultural similarities and differences; by doing so, teachers will help to promote intercultural awareness regarding polite and impolite behavior within the classroom context.

Faculty Supervisor

Dr. Jim Robinson

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