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Article
Publication date: 26 April 2022

Timothy Veach, Yeongjoon Yoon and John D. Iglesias

Organizations have been challenged to identify antecedents to improved employee adjustment to the work environment changes that arose in the wake of the COVID-19 global…

Abstract

Purpose

Organizations have been challenged to identify antecedents to improved employee adjustment to the work environment changes that arose in the wake of the COVID-19 global pandemic. This study aims to explore the effect of multilingualism on employee ability to adjust to workplace changes based on the concept that multilinguals have been found to switch between tasks more efficiently as compared to monolinguals.

Design/methodology/approach

Applying a sequential explanatory mixed methods research approach, quantitative performance evaluation data on 207 credit union employees is analyzed using hierarchical linear modeling to predict employee performance, and thematic analysis of qualitative data representing the adjustment narratives of six monolingual and six multilingual employees within the sample is conducted, corresponding to the period during which employees were adjusting to broad workplace changes after the onset of the global pandemic.

Findings

The results suggest greater predicted improvement in the performance of multilingual employees. Reliance on the task-switching ability associated with multilingualism is found to be the primary self-evaluative factor for successful change adjustment among multilingual employees.

Practical implications

In light of work performance benefits identified in this study, organizations may consider multilingualism as a characteristic preceding better adjustment to organizational change, and not simply as a skill applicable to tasks requiring language proficiency, suggesting practical implications for human resource and organizational management.

Originality/value

This is the first sequential explanatory study focusing on the task-switching ability of multilinguals as an antecedent to change adjustment evidenced by improved work performance within an organizational context.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 1 January 2019

Elias Bensalem

The present study focuses on the link between foreign language anxiety (FLA), self-perceived proficiency, and multilingualism in the under-explored English as a Foreign…

Abstract

The present study focuses on the link between foreign language anxiety (FLA), self-perceived proficiency, and multilingualism in the under-explored English as a Foreign Language (EFL) context of Saudi Arabia. Ninety-six Arabic undergraduate college-level EFL students (56 males, 40 females) answered the Arabic version of the Foreign Language Classroom Anxiety Scale (FLCAS – Horwitz, Horwitz, & Cope, 1986). The analyses revealed that Saudi multilinguals suffered from low to moderate levels of FLA with female participants experiencing more anxiety than their male counterparts. Multiple regression analyses revealed that gender and self-perceived proficiency explained over a quarter of variance in FLA. Furthermore, the study did not find any role of experience abroad in predicting FLA.

Details

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Gulf Perspectives, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2077-5504

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Berhanu Kassayie

This article reports the outcomes of a study on communication support, commissioned to develop a borough‐wide strategy in 2003 by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.The…

Abstract

This article reports the outcomes of a study on communication support, commissioned to develop a borough‐wide strategy in 2003 by the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.The research stems from a recognition of communication as a key to successful delivery of public services and enhancement of a multicultural community.The focus is on ‘communication’ (rather than ‘language’), since it captures issues beyond the exchange of information through words: interpersonal interactions and relationships, techniques and modes of organising information exchange. Language is a key component within the broad ambit of communication mechanism and skills. Hence interpretation and translation are perceived as models of communications support alongside advocacy, integrated team, multilingual professional team, family/friends and minors, supported language, symbols and signs, and Plain English.While engaging in the debate and highlighting some of the broader issues concerning communication support services, the focus is on the following main issues:• policy frameworks and guiding principles in communication support• methods and techniques for needs assessment, monitoring and evaluation of communication support• communication support provision in Tower Hamlets including quantifying need, actual state of provision and users' perceptions.Probably among the first of its kind, the strategy draws on existing knowledge and good practice to develop a common framework for public services in Tower Hamlets. It is believed that it will serve a pioneering role in co‐ordinated existing and developing coherent approaches to communication support.

Details

International Journal of Migration, Health and Social Care, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-9894

Book part
Publication date: 17 December 2016

Suzanne C. Hopf, Sharynne McLeod and Sarah H. McDonagh

Fiji is a multicultural and linguistically multi-competent country. Historical ethnic divisions have socialised students into language friendships based around common…

Abstract

Purpose

Fiji is a multicultural and linguistically multi-competent country. Historical ethnic divisions have socialised students into language friendships based around common languages. Recent changes to educational policy, specifically the mandating of students learning all three of the Standard languages of Fiji (Fijian, Hindi, and English), have been introduced in hope that cross-linguistic understanding will encourage a greater sense of national identity amongst all Fijians regardless of ethnicity. This study explores one multilingual school environment considering students’ language use, attitudes and friendships in light of these policies.

Methodology/approach

A convergent mixed-methods research design using surveying, artefact collection, students’ drawing and observation was employed.

Findings

The majority of students reported some proficiency in the language of their inter-ethnic peers; however, students’ inter-ethnic friendships predominantly relied on English language use. It was observed that most friendships amongst these Fijian primary school students were still established according to main language use at home; however, inter-ethnic peer interaction in English was observed to be friendly and respectful. These language use patterns and friendship behaviours were potentially reinforced by individual and societal multilingualism, in addition to the school environment.

Originality/value

The chapter presents the first research linking Fijian primary school students’ language choices and friendship development.

Details

Friendship and Peer Culture in Multilingual Settings
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78635-396-2

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2020

Cedric Joseph Oliva and Alan Gómez Larriva

In the context of American institutions of higher education, the practical implementation of strategies associated with the development of L3+ or multilingual education…

Abstract

In the context of American institutions of higher education, the practical implementation of strategies associated with the development of L3+ or multilingual education often remain difficult to implement. Furthermore, students who reach the university level with pre-acquired bi/multilingual and bi/multicultural skills may perceive their competencies as trivialized and undervalued due to the lack of linguistically relevant opportunities available to them.

By contrast, the recent implementation of a multilingual course titled “Intercomprehension of the Romance languages: a pathway to Multilingualism,” at California State University, Long Beach (2014–2018) and St. Lawrence University (2018) offers bi/multilingual students the tools to develop skills geared toward language learning in a continuous effort to appraise, nurture, and upraise the ever-growing linguistic diversity present among students and faculty members in universities across the United States. This course and its iterations specifically benefit students’ pre-existing bi/multilingual competencies while offering them opportunities to reinforce and expand their multilingual repertoire. Students learn how to read in 5+ Romance languages, reinforce their knowledge of English, as well as of their Romance language, all while strengthening their metalinguistic awareness by learning how to navigate a larger repertoire of either foreign or unknown related languages.

In addition to discussing the pedagogical and theoretical framework of the course, the authors propose to explore how this innovative approach favors the development of multilingualism among students in North-American universities by examining course demographic data collected from several of these courses and key results relating certain aspects of students’ initial contact with new languages through intercomprehension.

Details

Technology-enhanced Learning and Linguistic Diversity: Strategies and Approaches to Teaching Students in a 2nd or 3rd Language
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-128-8

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 1 August 2022

Corinna Di Niro and Jeanne-Marie Viljoen

This chapter describes a case study of a multidisciplinary approach to the complex social issue of teaching English to multilingual tertiary students in a pluralistic

Abstract

This chapter describes a case study of a multidisciplinary approach to the complex social issue of teaching English to multilingual tertiary students in a pluralistic context. It does this by advancing an innovative multilingual pedagogy combining specific aspects of Commedia dell’Arte (Di Niro) and translanguaging (Viljoen) to cross boundaries between languages and cultures for effectively teaching. This is achieved through an examination of Di Niro’s course structure, written reflections and observations of teaching students “English for Business Studies” at the University of South Australia (UniSA). Reflections are arranged and interpreted around three themes: multilingualism, game play, and physicality/embodied learning. Following O’Neill and Viljoen (2021, p. 1), the authors argue that “such reflection is not simply contemplative, but involves dynamic, transforming and reflexive processes of accessing” the lived-experience of language and culture of the teacher and students in an engaged and responsive learning dialogue. Commedia dell’Arte includes multilingualism, improvisation, gesture, role-play and extending students to develop socio-political dialogue. Translanguaging involves foregrounding and affirming the home language of multilingual students of English while also developing their English. Blending these methodologies and methods enables the authors to simultaneously address practical and theoretical aspects of teaching in a multilingual classroom.

Details

Changing the Conventional University Classroom
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-80043-261-1

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 29 November 2019

Melina Andronie, Sebastian Krzyzek, Lena Bien-Miller and Anja Wildemann

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the combination of Delphi and focus group techniques and on the utilization of qualitative content analysis in this context…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to focus on the combination of Delphi and focus group techniques and on the utilization of qualitative content analysis in this context. Moreover, it illustrates the potential of this hybridized methodology for gathering information from experts on multilingual practices in the primary school context in Germany in order to conceptualize a teacher training.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on a structured guideline, two group discussions with experts from the scientific community, schools and educational institutions (n=13; n=12) focused on language diversity in the school context, multilingualism, the heritage languages of children as well as on the role of language reflection and metalinguistic awareness in (second) language acquisition and development in primary school. Both group discussions were qualitatively analyzed, and inductive categories were framed.

Findings

The main aspects derived from the data were: teaching actors, their language awareness, their knowledge about multilingualism and attitudes toward it, characteristics of the materials and methods used in language lessons as well as students’ own experiences with both heritage and second language(s).

Practical implications

Following these domains derived from the analyses of the data, the authors developed a teacher training, systematically considering multilingual teaching practices and implications resulting from the modified Delphi-study.

Originality/value

Due to the fact that knowledge and experience of experts from research and school context had been taken into account, the teacher training measure achieved higher acceptance and efficacy.

Details

Qualitative Research Journal, vol. 20 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1443-9883

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 8 February 2021

Mike Szymanski, Ilan Alon and Komal Kalra

In this study, micro-foundations of strategy as the theoretical framework to study the effect of managers’ individual characteristics on multinational team performance are…

Abstract

Purpose

In this study, micro-foundations of strategy as the theoretical framework to study the effect of managers’ individual characteristics on multinational team performance are adopted. In particular, the purpose of this paper is to study managers’ multilingual communication abilities and multicultural background, and their role in, respectively, effectively reconfiguring team human assets and sensing cognitively distant opportunities and threats.

Design/methodology/approach

This study uses national football teams competing in national and international competitions and their coaches’ characteristics as the data set to test the theory. Using random coefficient modeling and ordinary least square regression, this paper analyzes two samples of 222 and 79 teams and found that both these characteristics contribute to team performance; however, their effects differ depending on the team environment.

Findings

Multicultural managers contribute positively to team performance only when the team is operating in a highly diverse environment, their effect is not statistically significant in homogeneous environments. In less diverse environments, it is the multilingual manager who can improve team performance through more efficient communication and greater effects of leadership on the team.

Originality/value

Managers’ characteristics such as their multicultural background and multilingual capabilities affect team performance. In particular, these effects come into play in highly diverse and international settings. Micro-foundation literature is advised to focus on the internationalization and multicultural backgrounds of managers as a precursor for organizational international performance.

Book part
Publication date: 26 November 2020

Chesla Ann Lenkaitis, Shannon M. Hilliker and Luis Y. Castañeda

All humans have an innate ability to learn multiple languages and with ­increasing mobility across linguistic boundaries, people are more than ever embracing…

Abstract

All humans have an innate ability to learn multiple languages and with ­increasing mobility across linguistic boundaries, people are more than ever embracing multilingualism. This chapter examines international students’ perceptions of their third language (L3) learning experience in their second language (L2) English context. Challenges and strategies of L3 learning are explored as data from a survey and interviews were analyzed. Twenty-eight (n = 28) international students were asked to answer Likert-scale and ­open-­ended questions regarding their L3 learning experience. Select ­participants were also interviewed. The quantitative and qualitative results show that learning an L3 not only offered international students an opportunity to strengthen their understanding of the relationship between language and culture, but also allowed them to position themselves as multilinguals within the globalized world context. Furthermore, the data reveal that technology is an integral part of international students’ L3 learning process, but that additional support is needed. This chapter also discusses ideas including technology-e­nhanced language learning to assist international students in their L3 learning experience in higher education.

Details

Technology-enhanced Learning and Linguistic Diversity: Strategies and Approaches to Teaching Students in a 2nd or 3rd Language
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83982-128-8

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 5 September 2022

Maria Elo, Tanvi Kothari and Maria Ivanova-Gongne

– This chapter aims to increase our understanding on how the language diversity of multiethnic Central Asian countries and their diasporas constitutes a talent and…

Abstract

Goals and Objectives of the Research

– This chapter aims to increase our understanding on how the language diversity of multiethnic Central Asian countries and their diasporas constitutes a talent and resource-base for local and global businesses. We revisit the role of ‘language capabilities’ for boundary-spanning abilities and the particular challenges and opportunities posed by linguistically diverse contexts among diaspora members and their homeland.

Methodology

– This chapter provides an overview of prior research and uses qualitative interviews and ethnographic data.

Results/Findings

– The findings indicate that language diversity is an important multi-layered resource and a socio-economic link that allows culturally distant markets to interact and bridges the gaps across geographic boundaries. Individuals with multiple languages and migrant ties may develop alternative ways of communicating for business, such as translanguaging and cultural communication mode-shifting.

Novelty/Originality/Value

– The administrative ‘imperial’ languages are often perceived as the oppressor's instrument, however, the alternate perspective presents it as a resource for economic relations and international business development that exists in parallel to the indigenous language heritage. We introduce a concept, on diaspora ‘language portfolio’ that is a toolbox of communication assets that allows migrants to connect and operate interculturally and inter-regionally.

Theoretical or Practical Implications

– We deviate from the English language dominance of the international business literature and address how another geographic and linguistic context such as the Russophone business provides a contextual lens to understand how language capabilities of diaspora members is an asset to both, their home and host nations. We illustrate how both the Russian language and the regional and minority languages offer a great potential for entrepreneurial and trade relations. By introducing a Framework of Diaspora ‘Language Portfolio’ this study underlines that minorities and diasporas are key boundary spanners and connectors in new markets and enhance the development of trade in the region.

1 – 10 of 416