The purpose of the present study was to investigate the use of conventions by EFL students and the requirement of conventions by EFL teachers in student-teacher e-mail communication, in an English-medium university in the Arab world. A convenience sample of 61 students and 13 teachers from the Intensive English Program at the American University in Cairo, Egypt was used. Data were obtained for this exploratory study from a student survey, a teacher survey, and a sample of student e-mails, and were analyzed using descriptive statistics, chi-square tests, and thematic content analysis. Chi-square tests revealed a correlation between the frequency of use of the e-mail conventions, which students and teachers reported, of salutations, complete sentence, closings, and correct spelling; with the exception of the inclusion of salutations, teachers think students use those conventions much less than the students think they do. From the coding of the sample of e-mails it was evident that more than 60% of the student e-mails included information in the subject line, salutations, address terms, complete sentences, no SMS-style language, and the student's name at the end. However, more than half of the conventions were used by less than two-thirds of the student sample whose e-mails were analyzed. In regards to the conventions teachers require, teachers require conventions related to language proficiency the least, and ones related to formality the most. However, overall teachers require e-mail conventions with much less frequency that what the student reported using and what the teachers claimed the students use, as seen in the results of descriptive statistics and chi-square tests. Furthermore, the four conventions least required by teachers (closings, correct letter case, spelling and grammar) are also the ones least used in student e-mails.
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Applied Linguistics Department
MA in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
Committee Member 1
Committee Member 2
Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval
Approval has been obtained for this item
Galabi, L. I.
(2011).Student use and teacher requirement of e-mail conventions [Master's Thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Galabi, Lora Ibrahim. Student use and teacher requirement of e-mail conventions. 2011. American University in Cairo, Master's Thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.