An exploratory study on how international students at Boston University use television
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The purpose of this study was to discover how international students at Boston University use television. What are their motives when switching on the television set? Do they consciously try to learn verbal skills when viewing television? Do they consciously try to learn the norms and culture of the Americans through watching television? The methodology used for this study was the in-depth interview. Interviews were conducted with thirty international students from different countries enrolled in the Intensive English language program at the Center of English Language and Orientation Programs (CELOP). The data were analyzed qualitatively. Results indicated that the majority of international students like to watch television for the purpose of learning spoken English and the culture of the American society. Findings also indicated that although their motives when switching on television were specifically for entertainment, the learning of English was another articulated reason. There was conscious learning as well as coincidental learning depending on the stated motive of the international students. The data also indicated that international students deliberately use television to learn as much as they can about American culture. From these findings, it was concluded that television has great potential in aiding non-English speaking people (foreigners) to learn verbal skills as well as recognizing aspects of American culture.
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