The present study compares thought patterns, perceptions of interaction (perceived interaction smoothness and interaction involvement), and conversation orientation of U.S. students (N = 60) in dyadic interaction with a partner who is either another American or a non-American nonnative speaker of English. As hypothesized, U.S. participants with nonnative-speaking partners perceived interaction as more difficult, or less smooth, than did their counterparts with native-speaking partners. U.S. participants with nonnative-speaking partners also displayed different thought patterns, having more thoughts showing confusion, as well as more thoughts focused on the partner and less on the content of the ongoing conversation, than those with fellow native-speaking partners. U.S. participants with a nonnative-speaking partner also exhibited a different conversation orientation pattern, focusing more on understanding of the other's message, less on clarifying their own message, and less on displaying their own involvement. Specific thought categories and perceived interaction smoothness were correlated with conversation orientation indices for participants in interactions between native and nonnative speakers. Finally, interaction involvement was found to contribute most to variation in perceived interaction smoothness for both U.S. and non-U.S. participants in interactions between native and nonnative speakers. Implications of the findings are discussed.