Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Languages, Philosophy and Communication Studies


Bonnie M. Spillman


As one of the foreign students in this country, I have had a lot of problems while studying here. For example , how should I express myself, how should I behave when going to an American party and participating in other traditional occasions such as Halloween, Christmas, Thanksgiving, etc. Also, how can I learn about Americans' activities and manners? Some of them I can solve by learning from others or by myself . Many Americans have trouble when communicating with foreigners. They try hard , but they often do not understand each other.

Information from both Americans and foreigners indicates that if they want to communicate effectively they need to know about the others' attitudes , values, experiences , manners, expectations and cultures . The most important factor for effective communication is each individual's willingness to communicate .

The purpose of this investigation is to explore problems, barriers, and gaps in communication between American and foreign students. The following areas will be developed: (l) cultural differences in attitudes, values, mores , and manners, (2) communication barriers related to language problems, (3) attitudes of Americans and foreigners towards each others, and (4) some suggested guidelines for more effective communication . The goals of this investigation are: first , to use theoretical, experimental and survey data to determine what major problems exist in the attempt to communicate inter-culturally, and second, to provide some behavioral suggestions for improving the interaction attempt.

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Communication Commons