Electronic Theses and Dissertations





Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Applied Linguistics

Committee Chair

Emily A Thrush

Committee Member

Teresa S Dalle

Committee Member

Angela Bosche Thevenot

Committee Member

Chloe Lancaster


First time college undergraduate students from China face linguistic and cultural barriers when seeking academic help from their faculty members, but there is little research addressing these students' experiences of encountering these barriers, nor how the barriers are overcome. This qualitative transcendental phenomenological study sought understanding of these students' experiences, identified linguistic help-seeking behaviors exhibited by this population, and contributed to the knowledge on encouraging these students to access the support services available to them. This project specifically introduced the concept of "help-seeking behaviors" (borrowed from medical or clinical sciences) to the field of linguistics. Additionally, this project identified several linguistic and cultural barriers experienced by this population. This project explored the experiences shared by Chinese undergraduate students at a large, urban, mid-south research university in the United States, specifically, the linguistic and cultural barriers preventing them from successfully seeking and/or receiving academic help. This topic has additional ramifications in student physical health, mental health, ESL needs, and the development of social and academic skills in the US. The results of the project include information that could enable students from China to better access the support services available to them through educating faculty and staff about the unique linguistic help-seeking behaviors employed by this population, and the linguistic and cultural barriers this population faces.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.