Date of Award



© 2019 Alexander Lee-Heng Tai

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)



First Advisor

William Boozang

Second Advisor

Suzan Nelson

Third Advisor

Peter Stiepleman


The purpose of this research was to investigate the current levels of intercultural communication competence in fourth and fifth grade English Learners through narrative text composition within the researcher's English Learner classroom environment. This mixed-methods research was conducted as a response to the need for curriculum changes in preparing EL pre-service educators within the higher education system to become more proficient in the implementation of intercultural communication pedagogy. This action research was supported by a literature review including topics of intercultural communication pedagogy, linguistic relativity hypothesis, linguaculture, and English language development. The research questions that guided this study were: (1) How is intercultural communication competence (ICC) in fourth and fifth grade ELs developed by narrative writing? (2) Does ICC impact the English language development process in a positive manner? The narrative writing samples collected from the participants were graded using the Intercultural Knowledge and Competence Value Rubric (Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2010) by the researcher. After quantitative and qualitative analysis of the data, the results exhibited that fourth and fifth grade English Learners can successfully develop ICC in narrative writing. The study was unable to fully answer the research questions as limitations of study included hinderances in gaining all the required data. Recommendations for pre-service and current EL educators are provided for the effective use of intercultural communication pedagogy within their classrooms. They are: Educators should build positive relationships with ELs; they should implement intercultural communication pedagogy within the EL classroom that includes cultural self-awareness; knowledge of cultural worldview frameworks; empathy; verbal and nonverbal communication; curiosity; and openness; they should conduct continual assessment of Intercultural Knowledge and Competence; and finally, they should collaborate with EL educators who effectively utilize intercultural communication pedagogy in their EL classrooms.


Ed.D. Dissertation