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Abstract

Over the past two decades, perhaps no instructional communication topic has been researched as thoroughly as teacher immediacy. However, one important area of the existing teacher immediacy literature that remains underdeveloped is how undergraduate teaching assistants enact immediacy behaviors, and how, if at all, students respond to these teaching assistants differently based on the enactment of these behaviors. Thus, the purpose of this investigation was to gain a clearer understanding as to what, if any, immediacy behaviors are used by undergraduate teaching assistants in the basic communication course at a large Midwestern university. The researchers conducted 50 hours of observation in an attempt to determine the different types of immediacy behaviors being displayed by undergraduate teaching assistants in the instructional context as well as examine the effects those behaviors have on students. The results of this analysis are discussed.