A Kaleidoscope of Languages

Ge Gao, Susan R. Fussell
2017 Proceedings of the 2017 CHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - CHI '17  
Multilingual teams often include subgroups of members who share a native language different from the team's common language. Linguistic choices by members of these subgroups can have implications for information exchange at the team level. We reported a field study of language use in 3 multilingual teams, each of which consisted of some native English speakers (NS) and some non-native English speakers (NNS) who shared a native language with at least one other team member. We found that NNS
more » ... found that NNS often shifted between English and their native language. The way language shift happened differed for formal meetings, informal conversations, and instant messaging. Language variation was often associated with shifts in content, participants, and communication medium. Further analysis indicated that language shift had both benefits and costs for team communication, depending on the context in which it happened. Based on these findings, we outline suggestions for designing multilingual collaboration systems.
doi:10.1145/3025453.3025839 dblp:conf/chi/GaoF17 fatcat:t4u4urg375efxlemz5c2t32dcu