"The ELC": 229 North 33rd St., Philadelphia, PA
Three blocks away from the hustle of Market Street, the main thoroughfare of Drexel University's campus, an unassuming building nestles in a quiet neighborhood. The street, lined with narrow sidewalks and trees, gives one a feeling of coziness and safety. Other than the faint sounds of city traffic, tranquility presides over this neighborhood scene. At 229 North 33rd Street stands a long, rectangular, light-colored brick building two stories high. The low green shrubs at the edge of the building and the grassy areas spotted with trees to either side of the entrance give one the sense that this building belongs to the "neighborhood." Looking up at its facade, one would not think that inside this modest structure lies a microscopic view of the world as it could be in the next millennium-a world where countries from all corners of the globe come together in harmony, a non-politicized world where borders, political divisions separating ethnic groups, dissolve and give rise toboundaries, permeable areas that encourage the acknowledgement of and mutual respect for linguistic and cultural diversity.
What is this place? Who are the inhabitants? Walking up the entranceway steps lined with black iron railings, one immediately encounters an outer glass door inscribed with the outline of an umbrella-shaped image encasing the letters AAIEP. Above the umbrella stand the words "American Association for International English Programs (AAIEP)" and underneath, "English Language Center, Foreign Language Center, and ESL Writing Center." These words only begin to frame what goes on inside this building. On the other side of the entranceway lies a safe haven--a place where people from around the globe to come together to learn English, a place where words are transformed into language.
But more goes on at 229 North 33rd Street than just the learning of English in the traditional sense of learning a language or the teaching of specific skills: reading, writing, listening, and speaking. At Drexel's English Language Center (ELC), students learn about American culture as well. While knowledge of vocabulary, syntax, and grammar serve to enhance one's linguistic ability, they do not necessarily promote communicative competence or the appropriate use of language in situations of everyday life. Because the rules and norms of language cannot be separated from culture, developing communicative competence "enables a student to use a language for a wide range of social and expressive purposes" (Schiffrin 323). The importance of shared cultural and linguistic knowledge becomes crucial if one is to successfully negotiate interactions within a foreign culture using a second language. Shared knowledge fosters a sense of appropriate behavior and speech in a given situation or context, thereby enabling the participants to communicate successfully.
Moreover, the daily lives of both teachers and students reflect a unique added dimension of the ELC. In the AAIEP's Member Profile Book (1997-98), one can find words that portray a positive world vision for the future: "Today's interdependent world with its attendant need for increased global understanding has created an unprecedented demand for improved communication among individuals of diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds" (xi). Recognizing this challenge, the main goal of the AAIEP is to "participate significantly in educating individuals from all corners of the globe and help them become communicatively as well as cross-culturally competent" (xi).
Hence, the translation of the words put forth by the AAIEP into actual practice at the ELC has provided the foundation for the overarching research question for this present study: How does the ELC specifically promote the notion of cross-cultural communication, while providing students with knowledge about the linguistic and sociocultural aspects of learning English in America?
The Research and the Researcher
I am presently a doctoral student in TESOL at Temple University and an instructor in Temple's First Year Writing Program teaching English as a Second Language (ESL) sections of Freshman Composition. Noticing that the majority of my freshman ESL composition students lacked the preparation necessary to meet the rigorous demands of the English department's syllabus, my initial research examined ESL writing and the role of Temple's Intensive English Language Program (IELP) in helping international students make a smooth the transition from the familiar educational learning contexts of their home countries into the new learning context of an American university. Focusing on the area of academic writing, I observed two advanced-level writing classes.
In order to gain another perspective on this topic, I chose Drexel University's ELC as the research site for this study. While at Temple's IELP, I studied only writing classes. At Drexel, I began observing both a writing and a listening/speaking class for the opportunity to gain insight into another important aspect of language learning essential to academic success in the American university classroom: aural/oral skills.
From the first day I entered the ELC and walked through its hallways decorated with an array of posters from around the world, I gradually became aware that traditional language learning in the classroom was only one of many factors which defined the role of the ELC in preparing students for future academic and non-academic endeavors.
On September 8, 1998, I began my role as a participant observer at the ELC, taking field notes while watching the interaction between ELC teachers, administrators, staff, and students in a variety of activities. I visited the site every Tuesday for the next ten weeks, arriving at 8:30 AM and usually departing between 2:00 to 3:00 PM for an approximate total observation time of 75 hours. Initially gaining access to the site through a friend who knew one of the ELC teachers, for the first six weeks of the term I observed this teacher's advanced writing and intermediate listening/speaking classes from 9:00 AM to 12:00 PM. As I got to know more people at the ELC, I spent time observing general activities and afternoon elective classes. I conducted informal interviews with the ELC's Director and Associate Director, the Office Manager, the Program Coordinator, the Testing Coordinator, the Senior Lecturer, as well as interviews with two full-time teachers and one intern. In addition, I led a focus group discussion with students in a morning listening/speaking class. Interviews and discussions were audio-recorded and directly transcribed to preserve the integrity of the conversations; field notes were written up within two days of each visit. Coded data provided a framework for illustrating the exemplification of cross-cultural communication at the ELC.
Cross-Cultural Communication at the ELC
Based on the premise that "linguistic and cultural differences between members of differing ethnic groups can be treated as more or less problematic" (qtd. in Erickson 294), F. Barth's (1969) original analysis of ethnicity from a sociological perspective recognizes that the politicization of cultural differences is highly dependent on the distribution of power or advantage between the two groups. When the cultural differences between two groups is recognized as an identifying marker, but is not politicized, having no relationship to the power of one group over another, differences are treated as boundaries. In contrast, when one cultural difference relegates a group to a position of disadvantage, the differences are then politicized, or treated as borders. Frederick Erickson, a prominent researcher in the field of education and sociolinguistics, asserts that Barth's analysis of interethnic relations at a macro level in society extend to the micro-level everyday interactions between students and teachers in a multicultural/multilingual classroom. Because all communication is locally situated and fluid, or subject to change within any given context, Erickson contends that classroom teachers can help to maintain boundary relationships by the "local re-framing of the inequities in power relationships that are pre-structured into situations of immediate interaction [in the multicultural classroom]" (302). In so doing, students and teachers must be careful to not to stereotype the characteristics of ethnic groups; cultural and linguistic differences should be recognized through the promotion of cross-cultural communication within the classroom.
Although issues of power and authority embedded within linguistic and cultural differences have the potential to be reconciled in the classroom, when these differences become sources of major conflict within the larger social context in which the school is situated, it may be impossible to eliminated them completely from the learning environment. However, teachers can influence the framing of these power struggles in the daily conduct of classroom life to minimize political differences.
The following report illustrates the realization of cross-cultural communication, or the communication among people from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds, in the daily lives of ELC students and staff. Moreover, the report reveals how the framing of a learning environment can unite people representing cultures from many globes to create one world that values and respects linguistic and cultural diversity, thus resulting in a unique social context where a no borders, only boundaries environment prevails. Evidence supporting these ideas will be developed through the analysis of data collected from a variety of sources including: visual representations in the ELC building, a profile of ELC students and their living accommodations while attending the ELC, the people who work at the ELC, ELC orientation activities, and three language classrooms.
A Sense of Place
The promotion of cross-cultural communication can be subtly seen in the physical space of the ELC's interior. I devoted my first day of observations to wandering through the ELC, getting a sense of place before the arrival of the students for the fall term scheduled for the following week. Stepping through the entranceway doors, I found myself surrounded by reminders of other cultures, other lands, and other languages. I felt as though I had made a subtle transition into another world-a world where words are transformed into language and cultures meld together under one roof. The soft lighting of the room and its soothing skin-toned, pinkish walls created a sense of warmth and harmony. As I later found out through talking with one of the teachers, the architect who spear-headed the facility's renovation specifically picked these colors to promote just this type of welcoming ambiance for the ELC students a long way from home.
As my eyes scanned the lobby, I immediately noticed fliers and printed material in both English and Asian script stapled onto a bulletin board. On a nearby coffee table, a variety of magazines and newspapers including a Japanese version of U.S. Front Line: U.S.-Japan Business Focus rested next to a local Boston newspaper. An orderly array of advertisement flyers covered the lobby bulletin board: apartments for rent, cars for sale, and even a promotion for a "pizza place" written in Asian script was stapled next to a map of Boston.
While exploring the hallway labyrinth, much to my delight I saw before me an interesting-looking calendar hanging on a door at the end of the narrow passageway. Moving closer, I began to discern a variety of holidays listed from places other than the U.S.: National Day (Swiss), Father's Day (Taiwan), St. Stephen's Day (Hungary), Asa Lha Puja (Buddhism), Tisha B'an (Jewish). I wondered, where else could one see such a variety of religious and national holidays represented under one roof? I also noticed that each week new fliers appeared on the walls announcing upcoming field trips to local sites and American holidays such as Halloween and Thanksgiving, giving a sense of the ELC's role in providing students an with an understanding of American culture.
While writing my analytic memos to reflect on emergent themes, my perception of the role of the ELC gradually shifted from a narrow focus of language learning, to the addition of cross-cultural awareness and eventually the notion of cross-cultural communication, a concept embedded in this unassuming poster.
The ELC Students
At any given time of the day, one can hear a wide variety of languages being spoken in and around the ELC: Russian, German, Taiwanese, Chinese, Japanese, Korean, French, Arabic, Turkish, and Spanish. I soon found that ELC students, 18 years and older, come from all regions of the world for a variety of other reasons aside from learning English. As Beth, the Activities Coordinator remarked during an interview:
The students come here for all sorts of reasons. I think some people see it as a stepping stone to Walton or another university. There are some people who just come for the TOEFL prep--and there are some people who just come for the experiences of living overseas--and I think some are here in the United States and come just for the education. So they're a big mix. (Oct. 1998)
Sharon, the Office Administrator commented that some students come to the ELC for its specialized Business Stream Program and "want to earn an MBA, but a lot of them want to go back and get better jobs in their countries--and learn from analysis of different business concepts" (Nov. 1998). Sometimes even foreign governments will send students to the ELC. As one student I met from Uzbekistan told me, "I don't choose Drexel. My government choose Drexel for me!" (Field Notes. Sept. 1998). Sasha was admitted to Drexel under the condition that he would first spend a semester at the ELC before formally matriculating into the university.
Upon entering the ELC, a place that supposedly teaches students English and fosters an awareness of American culture, one might wonder why doesn't everyone speak only English? Why are people allowed to use their native tongues interchangeably with English? Again, the theory of cross-cultural communication plays out everyday at the ELC with students and staff respecting each others' languages, thus framing an environment that minimizes borders. Oftentimes English, the one common language spoken at the ELC, becomes the key to true cross-cultural communication and socializing. Listening to the chatter and watching the animated faces, I realized that despite the wide array of linguistic backgrounds, all managed to convey their thoughts in English, each with their own accents.
Where Do ELC Students Live?
One of the places where ELC students live is the newly renovated World House, a three-story house converted into apartments located a only few blocks away from ELC's neighborhood. I realized how much this one house meant in regard to fostering cross-cultural communication as I read an excerpt in the ELC's newsletter Cafe Philadelphia (1999) :
My name is Young-Woo Park from Korea. I was '98 Winter ELC student. I came back to my home country two months ago. I'd like to talk about World House, (my house). That was the first time I went overseas, so everything was difficult for me. I lived in an apartment a little too far from school. It was inconvenient and I had a problem with my roommate. I think that was a kind of cultural difference. I went to ELC to meet Sarah [the former activities coordinator] to talk about my problem, but I couldn't speak English at all. I shed tears because I didn't have the confidence to speak English so I needed a translator...Sarah introduced me to World House. This house was clean and everybody looked so kind. (Its first impression was good.) So I decided to move to World House the next day. There were twelve students including me...Sometimes we had a meal together and watched TV. While we had our meal together, we talked about our country's culture. I could know about another country's culture at that time. Also, that helped improve my English. I miss them. Now I have confidence. I can talk with native speakers, say what I want to say. I had a good opportunity to learn English at Drexel.
Clearly, World House exemplifies a no borders, only boundaries environment wherein diverse students representing the many globes of the world come together to explore each other's cultures through everyday living.
In addition to World House, the ELC encourages students to live in a Homestay arrangement, which "provides students housing with American families--so students can learn more about American culture by living in a private home" (Student Handbook 15). Beth, the Activities Coordinator, once remarked, "Homestay is a popular choice. Students get to see American living first hand and also speak English while at home-they get exposure to the language." Beth also commented that when matching students with their respective families, she tries to be sensitive to cultural lifestyles; for example, "depending on the culture, if you have a strict Muslim coming into a house where people are drinking everyday, it probably wouldn't be a huge deal, but it would be a little bit uncomfortable" (Nov. 1998). Beth went on to explain that several families participating in the program are intrinsically interested in learning about other countries, cultures and languages, again alluding to a sense of cross-cultural communication. As further stated in the Student Handbook, "Many relationships formed in Homestays continue even after student return to their home countries" (15).
Who Are the People Who Work at the ELC ?
The staff and faculty at the ELC all have training in ESL with full-time employees holding at least a Master's degree in ESL. All appear dedicated and everyone intimated to me that they "love their jobs." Andrea, a Senior Lecturer and also one of the ELC's co-founders, remarked, "I have always loved every single year that I've taught here" (Oct. 1998). Chris, an intern from the University of Pennsylvania told me, "I love it here. I thought that the people were great from the very beginning" (Oct. 1998). Dr. Nolan, the Associate Director of the center referred to ESL as one of the "best kept secrets in teaching," meaning that because international students truly appreciate their teachers' efforts, the rewards are great for both the students and their teachers.
The staff also represents a group of people who innately respect other cultures and languages, thereby subtly helping to instill the notion of a non-politicized environment. In an e-mail correspondence with Dr. Nolan, I learned that ELC staff has a lot of "international experience-from truly all over the world including Africa, Korea, Japan, Turkey, Mexico, Spain" (Dec.1998). Dr. Nolan also confided that the ELC Director, Dr. Hadley, "is an inspiring example of someone who tries to always see the humanity in the individual person and give them the benefit" (Nov. 1998).
New Student Orientation: 9:00 AM, 9/15/98
On my second visit to the ELC, I observed the first day of the ELC's new student orientation for the fall term of '98. Here I saw my first glimpse of actual interactions between ELC staff and students, which reflected the concept of cross-cultural communication and a true acceptance of diverse languages and cultures. The following information, derived from my field notes and subsequent reflective analytic memos, provides an account of the morning orientation activities.
Imagine, one hundred and fifty new students from countries around the world, in one large room sitting at tables lined in rows, a mixture of races and languages coming together for the common purpose of studying English at the ELC. The only sounds are those of students whispering to each other and the rustling of papers as they look through their orientation packets. ELC volunteers
move from student to student helping them to sign-up for their upcoming language screening tests. After about half an hour, Beth, a woman in her late twenties who joined ELC as Activities Coordinator only two weeks ago, welcomes everyone, with a smile that never leaves her face for three hours! Knowing that the students may be anxious, Beth says, "Now I know you are signing up for many, many tests right now. Don't feel uncomfortable; they're only tests so we know which classes [to put you in]." Beth then acknowledges the countries represented in the room. As she announces names of a variety of countries, students raise their hands and look around for others from "home." "Who is from Korea? Raise your hand? Do we have anyone from Turkey? Raise your hand!" And so the list continues: Chile, Russia, Italy, Taiwan, Guinea, Venezuela, Japan, the Ivory Coast, Brazil, France, Egypt, Argentina, Peru, Ecuador--representatives of so many cultures together under one roof.
By chance, I found myself sitting next to someone from Uzbekistan. Although I had visited Uzbekistan years ago when it was still under the Soviet regime, I never really actually met anyone from Uzbekistan. Here at the ELC I had the chance to talk with someone from this faraway land-two lives from worlds apart.
After going through a series of announcements, Beth ended the session with a "Human Bingo Game." Beth went to the front of the room and briefly explained how to play the game, reading some examples from the game sheet. Suddenly she leaped onto a chair and shouted raising both arms, "Is everyone ready? OK GO!" The room became energized-students everywhere were standing and talking to each other, asking questions to fill their human bingo cards, getting signatures from people who "swam in the Pacific Ocean, have been to the USA before, are married, have visited your home country, know the USA's Independence Day, can speak more than two languages!"
As I looked at this scene before me, I realized that in just at matter of two hours, the room had been transformed into a lively place where virtually everyone was speaking--in English, the common language in the room-and smiling as students exchanged information about themselves, their countries, and knowledge about the U.S. When the game was over, the Bingo winners came to the front to announce who signed their cards. Where else could one meet so many people with such interesting names: Jung Ta, Shu Shih, Jay, Hiso Mato, Oscar, Zora, Young Huan Ja, Fatima, Jose, Eurita, Bo-Hun Chan, Gonzolo? Incredible!
This short three-hour period illustrated how the ELC implicitly creates a sense of cross-cultural communication, the notion of many globes, one world. This is a place where political borders drawn between countries, languages, and cultures are minimized, a place where people come together to learn from each other and to learn with each other the common language they have all come to study: English.
English, American Culture
Cross-Cultural Communication in the Classrooms
How does this idea of bringing people from around the world together to learn a common language through cultural experiences translate specifically into what happens within ELC classrooms? And how do the classroom teachers create non-politicized environments with frameworks that promote boundary rather than border encounters through cross-cultural communication?
While observing an elective intermediate conversation class taught by Chris, a young ELC intern presently enrolled in the University of Pennsylvania's ESL program, I caught a glimpse of a no border, only boundary non-politicized classroom. The day I observed happened to be November 3, Election Day in the U.S. and Culture Day in Japan; a lively class discussion centered around American politics and the differences between our government and the others represented by the students in the classroom as well as what people in Japan do on the third of November. At one point the subject drifted to that of President Clinton's current sex scandal where Claudia, from Poland, voiced her opinion saying all politicians are liars and that Clinton is the "[s]ame like our President. Same lies. Same situation." While another young man from Poland disagreed with Claudia, a student from Korea chimed in, "I think it's a problem of his personality. Can't respect President like this. Should be impeached." This discussion provided another example of how ELC classrooms are open and receptive environments for people with diverse experiences to freely express their opinions. As such, no one cultural ideology rises above another, thereby creating permeable boundaries between diverse cultures from many globes.
An interview with Michelle, a full-time ELC teacher, revealed how cross-cultural communication can also be promoted in writing classes.
In writing we talk a lot about audience, who's your audience, who you're writing for, who's going to read it; imagine your reader when writing. What does the person need to know? Especially at the beginning of the term we do several exercises geared toward audience [I give them a specific topic] and I say, "Now imagine you're writing about this topic and that you're writing to your grandmother; imagine that you're writing about this topic to your best friend from school that's never been to the States; imagine that you're writing to a friend that has been here before. How does that make a difference?" And they very quickly see that that has an impact on how much they have to explain and how they explain it. And, the language they use. And then we talk about what's appropriate in terms of writing in academic situations (Nov. 1998).
In her listening/speaking classes, Michelle also tries to foster cross-cultural awareness through class discussions designed to help her students understand some language nuances and slang Americans use that they might not understand on their own, to ward off potential problems with miscommunication. These problems can in turn lead to border encounters where political conflicts stemming from the larger social context reflect face-to-face interactions between linguistically and culturally diverse individuals.
Some ELC teachers take advantage of audio-visual aids to provide samples of naturally-occurring interaction as a basis for discussing cross-cultural communication. Students first watch live interactions between Americans and then discuss how people in their home countries might communicate with each other under similar circumstances. For example, in an "Idioms in American Culture" class, Steve, another full-time ELC teacher, first reviewed common idiomatic expressions the students would hear on a recording of the American sitcom, Seinfeld. As students watched the actors talking to the infamous "Soup Nazi" character, they heard a variety of idiomatic expressions and observed the gestures characters made while speaking. In follow-up class discussions, students reflected on the language and gestures used by the actors.
Elective classes also provide an opportunity for students to learn about cross-cultural communication from audio-visual aids. During a focus group discussion with seven ELC students, two mentioned that "movies were very helpful." Chen, from Taiwan, told me that he was taking an elective entitled "English for Business Purposes," where he watched films which showed him that "[w]hen you do business, you got to, first conversation, and how to end a conversation, how to start you conversation and be polite when you first meet someone. It very different from Taiwan" (Nov. 1998). He also told me he learned things such as what to say when you pick-up a fellow businessperson at the airport. Eun-Hee, another student in this class, told me that she chose to take the elective "American Business Culture in Film and TV." She also remarked, "It's good because we can watch films and some TV programs which are related to business, business affairs--it's very interesting and I got a lot of listening training." One theme that emerged from this discussion was that students found it helpful to be able to recognize cultural and linguistic differences between interactions in American and those in their home countries. Chen commented that "things here are very different from home" (Nov. 1998).
Cross-Cultural Communication Beyond the Classroom:
The Conversation Network
In order to further promote cross-cultural communication beyond the immediate boundaries of the ELC, there is a program called the "Conversation Network." This program and its purpose was briefly explained to me by Beth:
There's also the Conversation Network. This program has changed from the conversation partners program to the Conversation Network to broaden the program's scope to include more things. Basically what we try to do is bring our ELC students together with native speakers of English who want to learn a foreign language or about another culture or another religion. It doesn't necessarily have to be a language discussion. (Nov.1998)
Once again, with this program one can see how the ELC truly does make a conscious effort to bring people together in a spirit of promoting a sense of world unity, weaving a web between cultural and linguistic boundaries, bringing people from the many globes together in face-to-face interactions to frame and environment where political borders are minimized.
ELC Students Revisited
At the end of the term, I reflected back on my observations at the ELC and began wondering what happens to the ELC students who will be matriculating into American universities. What will the transition into the university be like for them? Will the world of boundaries suddenly shift to one of borders?
In the spring semester of 1999, I looked at the transitions of international students traveling from Drexel's ELC and Temple's IELP into their respective universities. Although I was able to track down a handful of students,
heir comments made me sense that they no longer felt as though their diversity was recognized or valued; instead, their language and culture became problematic:
The problem with Americans here [at the university] is that they don't know ...No one here knows or cares where my country is! They never heard of my language, Uzbek. Only the people at the ELC...those teachers know about my country and language...they make me feel good. (Former ELC student Jan. 1999)
Because I don"t speak English good, many times I feel stupid...a lot of student here [at the university] feel they are treated like they stupid because you don't know how to express yourself...so they treat you downward... At the ELC it was better. People like me there...the Americans [at the university] don't treat me nice...they don't help me...I don't know...Sometimes I want to go back home. (Former ELC student Jan. 1999).
I want to speak in class...I'm not shy. I want to talk about the question I want to answer. But some other good speakers, they speak before me. That's the problem. It takes very long time for me to make sentence in my head... conversation is over before I speak...In IELP it was different. OK. Teacher wait for me to speak. I feel good there. Here, I feel like baby...very different... (Former IELP student Jan. 1999).
As illustrated in the above statements, these particular students found themselves making a transition from a world of boundaries at the ELC into a world of borders at the university-a world that now reflected the inequities of power from the macro level of society. Admittedly, the nature of the transitions made by these students cannot be generalized to the whole population of international students entering American universities. However, further research interviewing ESL freshman composition teachers indicated that unfortunately this was the norm rather than the exception. As three ESL freshman composition teachers lamented:
ESL teachers are the "fix it people." When other teachers don't know what to do they send them (international students) to us...and we're supposed to work miracles in one semester!
How do universities treat ESL students? What can I say? Take the money and run!
I feel like I'm "the little boy holding up the dike." It's only a matter of time before it bursts... It's something like band-aid surgery...
Goals Translated into Practice: The Next Step?
When I first entered the ELC, I thought I would be looking at its role in preparing students for academic discourse skills necessary to succeed within the larger university context. However, from the first moment I entered the ELC's front doors, I began to suspect that my research might indeed go in another direction. As exemplified in this report, at a more subtle level there is another overriding theme above and beyond the learning of English language skills, the theme of cross-cultural communication within a non-politicized environment. In virtually every aspect of the ELC-the people, the place, the classroom activities-there is a sense of acceptance and respect for a diversity of languages and cultures. People representing all corners of the globe come together for a brief period of time to form one world with no borders, only boundaries between them.
Because at the ELC the phenomenon of cross-cultural communication in a non-politicized learning context is played out so well, the next question becomes: how can what happens at the ELC be translated into other classroom contexts outside of the auspices of an Intensive English program? Moreover, how can classroom teachers begin to create non-politicized contexts where the linguistic and cultural diversity of students can be used as a resource, where boundaries prevail and borders are minimized? One next step would be to carefully examine the people who work at the ELC, investigating such things as the sociocultural histories of the teachers and staff and their reasons for working at the ELC. An in-depth analysis of teacher and staff communication styles and strategies used when interacting with each other and the students would also provide valuable insights as to how a mutual respect can be fostered between peers and students in any given learning context. Findings could be particularly helpful in urban environments where cultures, languages, and dialects often come into conflict, resulting in borders that are sometimes never crossed. "The crucial issue is not the presence or absence of diversity in language and culture. Rather the issue is how culture difference will be framed, as boundary or border"(Erikson 296).
- Barth, F. Ethnic Groups and Boundaries: The Social Organization of Culture Difference. Boston: Little Brown, 1969.
- English Language Center, Drexel University. Personal Interviews with Deborah Karr. Oct. 1998-Feb. 1999.
- Erickson, Frederick. "Ethnographic Microanalysis." Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching. Ed. McKay, S.L. and N.H. Hornberger. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 283-306.
- Karr, Deborah. "International Students: Traveling through Cultures of Language Learning." Paper presented at The College Composition and Communication Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, 1998.
- Member Profiles. Philadelphia: American Association of Intensive English Programs (AAIEP), 1997-98.
- Schiffrin, Deborah. "Interactional Sociolinguistics." Sociolinguistics and Language Teaching. Ed. McKay, S.L. and N.H. Hornberger. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 307-328.
- Student Handbook. Philadelphia: Drexel University English Language Center, 1998-99.