Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Curriculum and Instruction

First Advisor

Pultorak, Edward


The purpose of this study was to investigate international learners’ beliefs about the development of their oral fluency in English and how their social relationships with native speakers and educational experiences in Study Abroad programs contributed to their verbal production. While several studies discuss the advantages of Study Abroad programs and the development of reading and writing fluency, only a few have explored oral fluency in ESL/EFL classrooms. This research was designed to examine international students’ beliefs about how their learning experiences in the U.S. affected their speaking ability. The aim was to understand how interactions with native speakers promoted comprehensible input and allowed ESL/EFL learners to produce comprehensible output. Bakhtin’s dialogism and the situated learning theory of Lave and Wenger are complementary frameworks, discussed, which show the importance of participation within communities. Data were collected using qualitative methods, including semi-structured interviews and classroom observations. Findings revealed that the use of technology in formal and informal settings developed ESL and EFL students’ oral skills. Furthermore, ESL learners’ social interaction with native speakers promoted cultural competence that lead to their accurate usage of the target language.




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