Capstone/Dissertation Title

Observations 
of 
Nonverbal Behaviors 
and 
Saudi
 Arabian 
Women 
in
 the 
ESL
 Classroom: 
A
 Case 
Study

Term

Fall 10-23-2014

Capstone

Thesis

Degree Name

MAESL

Primary Advisor/Dissertation Chair

Andreas Schramm

Secondary Advisor/Reader One

Jennifer Ouelette-Schramm

Peer-Reviewer/Reader Two

Mercedes Martinez

Abstract

The research question addressed in this project was, what nonverbals relating to space, eye contact, and silence, during specific classroom scenarios including pair/group work and oral presentations, are displayed by Saudi women and how do they reflect concepts of identity and gender? Based on Norton’s study (2000) of female English language learners, this study uses video recordings to report data on gaze, silence, and proxemics exhibited by two Saudi Arabian women in specific classroom interaction patterns. The author supplements video recordings with student journal entries and personal interviews. The research concludes that nonverbal behaviors shown by these women reflect deeply ingrained cultural beliefs, and are reflective of deeper themes of gender and identity.

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