“I’m not hungry. One egg is an oeuf”. Is the author funny?
Debatable. Is the author multilingual? Ça dépend. In this
multi-voiced episode on multilingualism we tackle different
interrelated aspects ranging from translanguaging over
accommodation to effectiveness and proficiency and we cast more
light on multilingual settings and the role of BELF in them. In the
process, we make Bernard eat humble pie by interviewing a very,
very multilingual person and we raise multilingual voices to stop
cruelty against animals, topped off with nice examples on language
accommodation. Bon appétit!
Wei, L. (2018).
Translanguaging as a practical theory of language. Applied
Linguistics, 39(1), 9-30.
Williams, C. (1996).
Secondary education: Teaching in the bilingual situation. In C.
Williams, G. Lewis, & C. Baker (eds), The Language Policy:
Taking stock. Llangefni: CAI, pp. 39–78
We also talk about
communication accommodation theory (CAT) and return to that
phenomenon in the analysis part of the episode. Here is a recent
overview of the theory:
Zhang, Y. B., & Giles,
H. (2018). Communication accommodation theory. In Y. Y. Kim (Ed.),
The International Encyclopedia of Intercultural Communication (pp.
95-108). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley,pp. 95-108.
Another concept that is
central to this episode is (Business) English as a lingua franca.
One scholar who has written prolifically on accommodation in ELF is
Jennifer Jenkins, most recently in this publication:
Jenkins, J. (2021).
Accommodation in ELF: Where from? Where now? Where next? In
Walkinshaw, I. (ed), The Pragmatics of ELF. Berlin: De Gruyter
Still in the introduction,
Bernard offers a definition of BELF that is based on this
Charles, M., Kankaanranta, A. (2005). English as a lingua
franca in Nordic corporate mergers: Two case companies. English for
Specific Purposes, 24, 401-421.
Our interview guest is
Gladys Nyarko Ansah, an expert in multilingualism from the
University of Ghana. Here are some of her publications, including
the one on linguistic landscapes, which she talks about in the
Anderson, J.A., Wiredu,
J.F., Ansah, G.N., Frimpong-Kodie, G., Orfson-Offei, E., &
Boamah-Boateng, D. (2020). A linguistic landscape of the central
business district of Accra. Legon Journal of the Humanities, 31(1),
Afrifa, G.A., Anderson,
J.A., & Ansah, G.N. (2019). The choice of English as a home
language in urban Ghana. Current Issues in Language Planning,
Ansah, G.N. (2014).
Cognitive models of anger in Akan: A conceptual metaphor analysis.
Cognitive Linguistic Studies, 1(1), 131-146
In the hosts’ reflection on
the interview, Veronika mentions ‘sounds being swapped around’; the
technical term for this is metathesis.
In the analysis , Veronika
contributes two examples from this study:
Rogerson-Revell, P. (2010).
“Can you spell that for us nonnative speakers?” Accommodation
strategies in international business meetings. The Journal of
Business Communication, 47(4), 432-454.
an example from a talk at the ABC conference, which illustrates
productive phonetic accommodation, i.e making the sounds of spoken
language more like that of the interlocutor. Receptive phonetic
accommodation is often taught as part of listening skills; here are
some alien resources for this:
The Speech Accent
Listening Library Online (www.elllo.org)
My English Voice
Finally, Erika draws
on paper by Jane Lockwood and Ying Song:
Lockwood, J., &
Song, Y. (2020). Understanding each other: Strategies for
accommodation in a virtual business team project based in China.
International Journal of Business Communication, 57(1),
The next episode will
continue with the theme of different languages, looking at
high-stakes translating and interpreting - see you