Fatemeh Lashkari Kalat, Zahra Ahmadi Yazdi, Afsaneh Ghanizadeh


Student engagement with instructors on a personal level can appear in the form of teacher’s immediacy behaviors, which includes two main kinds of immediacy, verbal and non-verbal. Ellis (2004) found when instructors display communicative behaviors similar to immediacy; students’ motivation to learn is likely to increase. Previous immediacy research has neglected to address the determinants and consequences of English as a foreign language (EFL) teachers’ immediacy behaviors. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate its determinants as well as consequences by collecting data from a number of EFL teachers and their students. The qualitative data for this study were collected via semi-structured interviews and observations. Two models emerged out of the collected data, including a) the model of the determinants of EFL teachers' immediacy which comprised body gesture, vocal variety, rapport making … b) the model of the consequences of EFL teachers' immediacy including three main categories: affective, cognitive, and perceptive domains. The results of this study showed that among the determinants of teacher immediacy, body gesture and rapport making factors exhibited the highest frequency and among the consequences factors, affective and cognitive were found to be the most frequent ones. The findings can be of particular interest to teachers, educators, and policy makers and can help them in improving the quality of teaching and providing good environment for students to learn.


Article visualizations:

Hit counter



immediacy, EFL teachers; qualitative study; determinants, consequences

Full Text:



Abrami, P. C., Leventhal, L., & Perry, R. P. (1982). Educational seduction. Review of Educational Research, 52, 446-464.

Allen, M., Witt, P. L., & Wheeless, L. R. (2006). The role of teacher immediacy as a motivational factor in student learning: Using meta-analysis to test a causal model. Communication Education, 55(1), 21-31.

Anderman, L. (2004). Student motivation across subject-area domains. Journal of Educational Research, 97, 283-285.

Andersen & Andersen, 1982). Andersen, P., & Andersen, J. (1982). Nonverbal immediacy in instruction. Communication in the Classroom, 98-120.

Andersen, J. F. (1986). Instructor nonverbal communication: Listening to our silent messages. New Directions for Teaching and Learning, 26 (1) , 41-49.

Andersen, P. A, (1985). Nonverbal immediacy in interpersonal communication. In A. W. Siegman & S. Feldstein (Eds.), Multichannel integrations of nonverbal behavior {pp. 1-36). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Brophy, J. (1983). Conceptualizing student motivation. Educational Psychologist, 18, 200_215.

Burgoon, J. K. (1994). Nonverbal signals. In M. L. Knapp, & G. R. Miller (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication (2nd ed., pp. 229-285). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Cappella, J. N. (1981). Mutual influence in expressive behavior: Adult-adult and infant-adult dyadic interaction. Psychological Bulletin, 89,101-132.

Cappella, J. N. (1983). Conversational involvement: Approaching and avoiding others. In J. M. Weimann & R. P. Harrison (Eds.), Nonverbal Interaction (pp. 113-148). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.

Cappella, J. N. (1985). Controlling the floor in conversation. In A. W. Siegman & S. Feldstein (Eds.), Multichannel integrations of nonverbal behavior (pp.69-103). Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.

Christensen, L.J., & Menzel, K. E. (1998). The linear relationship between student reports of teacher immediacy behaviors and perceptions of state motivation, and of cognitive, affective, and behavioral learning. Communication Education, 47, 82-100.

Christophel, D. M. (1990). The relationships among teacher immediacy behaviors, student motivation, and learning. Communication Education, 39(4), 323-340.

Christophel, D. M., & Gorham, J. (1995). A test‐retest analysis of student motivation, teacher immediacy, and perceived sources of motivation and demotivation in college classes. Communication Education, 44(4), 292-306.

Coats, W. D., & Smidchens, U. (1966). Audience recall as a function of speaker dynamism. Journal of Educational Psychology, 57, 189-191.

Coker, D. A., & Burgoon, J. K. (1987). The nature of conversational involvement and nonverbal encoding patterns. Human Communication Research, 13,463-494.

Comadena, M. E., Hunt, S. K., & Simonds, C. J. (2007). The effects of teacher clarity, nonverbal immediacy, and caring on student motivation, affective and cognitive learning. Communication Research Reports, 24(3), 241-248.

Comstock,J., Rowell, E., & Bowers, J. W. (1995). Food for thought: Teacher nonverbal immediacy, student learning, and curvilinearity. Communication Education, 44,251-66.

Dovidio, J. F., &Ellyson, S. L. (1985). Patterns of visual dominance in humans. In S. L. Ellyson & J. F. Dovidio (Eds.), Power, dominance, and nonverbal behavior (pp. 129-149). New York: Springer-Verlag.

Elliot, J., & Knight, J. (2005). Student motivation: The bottom line. The Agricultural Education Magazine, 77(4), 8-10.

Ellis, K. (2004). The impact of perceived teacher confirmation on receiver apprehension, motivation, and learning. Communication Education, 53, 1-20.

Frymier, A. B. (1994). A model of immediacy in the classroom. Communication Quarterly, 42(2), 133-144.

Frymier, A. B., & Houser, M. L. (2000). The teacher–student relationship as an interpersonal relationship. Communication Education, 49, 207–219. doi: 10.1080/03634520009379209.

Gorham, J. (1988). The relationship between verbal teacher immediacy behaviors and student learning. Communication Education, 37(1), 40-53.

Guerrero, L. K., & Miller, T. A. (1998). Associations between nonverbal behaviors and initial impressions of instructor competence and course content in videotaped distance education courses. Communication Education, 47, 30-42.

Harper, R. G. (1985). Power, dominance, and nonverbal behavior: An overview. In S. L. Ellyson & J. F. Dovidio (Eds.), Power, dominance, and nonverbal behavior (pp. 29-48). New York: Springer-Verlag.

Harrison, R. (2011). Instructor transformational leadership and student outcomes. Emerging Leadership Journeys, 4, 91-119.

Ho, I. T. (2001). Are Chinese teachers authoritarian? In D. A. Watkins & J. B. Biggs (Eds.), Teaching

Houser, M. (2005). Teacher behavior, student interest and affective learning: Putting theory into practice. Communication Quarterly, 53, 71-90.

Lebedina-Manzoni, M. (2004). To what students attribute their academic success and unsuccess. Education, 124, 699-708.

Lu, S. (1997). Culture and compliance-gaining in the classroom: A preliminary investigation of

McCroskey, J. C., Sallinen, A., Fayer, J. M., Richmond, V. P., &Barraclough, R. A. (1996). Nonverbal immediacy and cognitive learning: A cross‐cultural investigation. Communication Education, 45(3), 200-211.

Mehrabian, A. (1967). Attitudes inferred from nonimmediacy of verbal communicanon. Journalof Verbal Learning and Verbal Behavior, 6,294-295.

Mehrabian, A. (1969). Significance of posture and position in the communication of attitude and status relationships. Psychological Bulletin, 71(5), 359.

Mehrabian, A. (1971). Silent messages (Vol. 8). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.

Mehrabian, A. (1972). Nonverbal communication. Chicago: Aldine-Atherton.

Paas, F., Tuovinen, J., Merrienboer, J, &Darabi, A. (2005). A motivational perspective on the relation between mental effort and performance: Optimizing learner involvement in instruction. Educational Technology Research and Development, 53 (3), 25-34.

Patterson, M. L. (1983). Nonverbal behavior: A functional perspective. New York: Springer-Verlag.

Pogue, L. L., & Ah Yun, K. (2006). The effect of teacher nonverbal immediacy and credibility on student motivation and affective learning. Communication Education, 55(3), 331-344.

Powell, R. G., & Harville, B. (1990). The effects of teacher immediacy and clarity on instructional outcomes: An intercultural assessment. Communication Education, 39, 369-379.

Richmond, V. P. (1990). Communication in the classroom: Power and motivation. Communication Education, 39(3), 181-195.

Richmond, V. P., Gorham, J. S., & Mccroskey, J. C. (1987). The relationship between selected immediacy behaviors and cognitive learning. Annals of the International Communication Association, 10(1), 574-590.

Rocca, K. (2007). Immediacy in the classroom: Research and practical implications. Retrieved January18, 2010, from http://serc.carleton.edu/NAGTWorkshops/affective/immediacy.html

Rodríguez, J. I., Plax, T. G., & Kearney, P. (1996). Clarifying the relationship between teacher nonverbal immediacy and student cognitive learning: Affective learning as the central causal mediator. Communication Education, 45(4), 293-305.

Schwartz, B., Tesser, A., & Powell, E. (1982). Dominance cues in nonverbal behavior. Social Psychology Quarterly, 45,114-120.

Sidelinger, R. J. (2010). College student involvement: An examination of student characteristics and perceived instructor communication behaviors in the classroom. Communication Studies, 61(1), 87-103.

Spiegal, J. P., & Machotka, P. (1974). Messages of the body. New York: The Free Press, Macmillan.

Thweatt, K. S., & McCroskey, J. C. (1998). The impact of teacher immediacy and misbehaviors on teacher credibility. Communication Education, 47(4), 348-358.

Velez, J., & Cano, J. (2008). The relationship between teacher immediacy and student motivation. Journal of Agricultural Education, 49 (3), 76-86.

Ware, J. E., Jr., and Williams, R. G. (1975). The Dr. Fox effect: A study of lecturer effectiveness and ratings of instruction. Journal of Medical Education, 50, 149-156.

Witt, P. L., Wheeless, L. R., & Allen, M. (2004). A meta-analytical review of the relationship between teacher immediacy and student learning. Communication Monographs, 71, 184_207.

Witt, P., & Kerssen-Griep, J. (2011). Instructional feedback I: The interaction of facework and immediacy on students’ perceptions of instructor credibility. Communication Education, 60, 75-94.

Wlodkowski, R. J. (1978). Motivation and teaching: A practical guide. Washington, DC: National Education Association.

Zhang, Q., Oetzel, J. G., Gao, X., Wilcox, R. G., & Takai, J. (2007). A further test of immediacy-learning models: A cross-cultural investigation. Journal of Intercultural Communication Research, 36(1), 1-13.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2018 Fatemeh Lashkari Kalat, Zahra Ahmadi Yazdi, Afsaneh Ghanizadeh

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Copyright © 2015-2018. European Journal of Education Studies (ISSN 2501 - 1111) is a registered trademark of Open Access Publishing Group. All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library (Biblioteca Nationala a Romaniei). All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All authors who send their manuscripts to this journal and whose articles are published on this journal retain full copyright of their articles. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).