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The English YOU use, is not the English THEY use!!

Do you speak excellent English, yet find it difficult to understand your coworkers’ jokes? Do your coworkers look at you differently because your accent is different?

As a PhD scholar, I am researching language-based issues that expatriates have in the workplace. I would be grateful if you could fill in my survey. Please also share on this forum your opinions and experiences about language-based issues when expatriates move to a new country.

My motivation is as follows. Most expatriates are competent in the main language of their new host country (eg. English). But expatriates may use English differently from “local” coworkers. For example, expatriates may have a different accent and pronunciation; their style of writing or communicating information may be different; they may not understand local figures of speech (e.g. sarcasm and metaphor), local expressions, informal speech or humor.

Since language is key to our social interactions, I believe these differences in English usage may positively or negatively affect the expatriate's workplace experiences. I would like to investigate whether my beliefs are warranted, through this survey-based study.

I would be very grateful if
(i) You would spend about ten minutes filling in my survey. The survey link is:

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(ii) At the end of the survey, you will receive a unique link to email to your "local" coworker in your new country for him/ her to rate you on language based criteria. Your answers will NOT be shared with your co-worker and vice-versa.

After you have gone through the survey, I would also be happy to hear about your insights or experiences on this forum. I will keep you posted on my findings!

Thank you very much for your time,
Sincerely,
Caren Rodrigues
PhD Candidate, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore

World Forum