Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Communication and Information



First Advisor

Dr. Brandi Frisby


This study seeks to explore an understudied population, Middle Eastern students, in the area of instructional communication. Of particular interest, the study seeks to understand how Middle Eastern students’ view their Western instructors’ verbal and nonverbal immediacy. The literature review establishes a conceptualization for verbal and nonverbal immediacy and the relationship between immediacy and gender, and immediacy and culture. Expectancy violations theory is used to understand the phenomena from an expectancy violations perspective and Hofstede’s dimensions will be used in an instructional context to understand how Middle Eastern students’ culture may influence students’ expectations. This study uses a mixed method approach to create a holistic views of Middle Eastern students’ expectations and expectancy violations. The survey method seeks to understand Middle Eastern students’ expectation for instructor verbal and nonverbal immediacy, and email responses seeks to understand expectancy violations and cultural influence on student expectancies. The results of the study show that Middle Eastern students view verbal and nonverbal immediacy as important factors in the student-teacher relationship and cultural factors play a role in students’ expectations.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)