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Multilingual workplaces – Interactional dynamics of the contemporary international workforce

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Spencer Hazel



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


This introduction situates the topic of the special issue – interaction in multilingual workplaces – in a historical context of international trade relations. It goes on to outline the research context of contemporary studies of workplace interaction. The methodological framework adopted in the studies is Conversation Analysis, a research tradition that does not have a very long history of studying multilingual interaction. We thus present and discuss the benefits and limitations of this approach to the special types of questions associated with issues such as language alternation, lingua franca usage and linguistic proficiency. Furthermore, we give an overview of the two strands of CA research that have emerged within the fields of second language acquisition (so-called CA-for-SLA) and multilingual communication. A fundamental requirement for CA research is to show that the phenomenon under scrutiny is oriented to by the parties to the interaction, and thus we give two examples of how issues of language diversity are made relevant by participants engaged in workplace interaction.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Hazel S, Svennevig J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Pragmatics

Year: 2018

Volume: 126

Pages: 1-9

Print publication date: 01/03/2018

Online publication date: 08/12/2017

Acceptance date: 13/11/2017

Date deposited: 13/12/2017

ISSN (print): 0378-2166

Publisher: Elsevier


DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2017.11.005


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