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Host Communication Competence and Mass Media Use

  • Date Submitted: 03/14/2010 08:24 AM
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HOST COMMUNICATION COMPETENCE AND MASS MEDIA USE
AMONG A SAMPLE OF CHINESE ESL STUDENTS
by
JUN QIAN
A thesis submitted to the Faculty of Education
in conformity with the requirements for
the degree of Doctor of Philosophy
Queen’s University
Kingston, Ontario, Canada
August, 2009
Copyright © Jun Qian, 2009
ii
ABSTRACT
This qualitative study investigated Chinese ESL students’ use of host mass media
and how such use enabled them to acquire host communication competence and
acculturation from their perspective. It was grounded on Kim’s theory of communication
and cross-cultural adaptation and the uses and gratifications theory, and employed a
phenomenography approach. Nine participants at a university in Ontario were involved in
this study. Data obtained from media use logs, think-aloud protocols, and follow-up
interviews provided a fairly far-reaching and detailed description of the participants’ uses,
reasoning, and effects of using host mass media.
The analysis of data illustrated that these students used a variety of media as
sources of information, language acquisition, culture learning, entertainment, and
communication. Findings suggest that host mass media were the major influence on these
students’ acquisition of host communication competence, perceptions of and
acculturation to Canada. Their reliance on mass communication went into the later years
of their acculturation process, and complemented their language and culture learning,
which was somewhat limited through insufficient or reluctant participation in host
interpersonal communication. Host communication competence was a primary factor that
influenced their selection and use of host mass media, but it was not the only decisive
factor relevant to their degree of acculturation. Individual characteristics, the social and
cultural environment in Canada were also found to have significant impact on their
acculturation process and outcomes. It is expected that the findings can...

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