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BELF in the workplace: a linguistic ethnographic study: An observation of English as a lingua franca used by employees at a Swedish company
Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of English.
2014 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesisAlternative title
Affärsengelska på arbetsplatsen: en lingvistisk etnografisk studie : En undersökning av Engelska som lingua franca, använd av anställda på ett Svenskt bolag (Swedish)
Abstract [en]

This paper was aimed at researching the use of English as a lingua franca (ELF) in a business context by the use of linguistic ethnography (LE). Previous research has been primarily either survey- or interview-based or strictly qualitative in its investigation. Using shadowing observations of three employees at a Swedish multinational company and subsequently interviewing the participants about their use of Business English as a lingua franca (BELF), the present study set out to investigate for what kinds of functions and how often these employees use English on an everyday basis. English was shown to be the default language of the multinational company and the findings suggest that employees’ use of language is not only determined by the nature of their work and the business setting, but also by their personal backgrounds. Their education, upbringing, and social experiences since moving to Sweden have come to shape their language use at work and in everyday life. Moreover, there could be subsequent implications for them not only in work-related functions and activities at the company but also in their integration and immersion in Swedish society. Using LE to investigate language choice and use in a corporate setting allows for a more nuanced collection of data, providing a context to linguistic research.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2014. , 33 p.
Keyword [en]
English as a lingua franca (ELF), Business English as a lingua franca (BELF), linguistic ethnography, social talk, international business communication
Keyword [sv]
Engelska som lingua franca, affärsengelska, lingvistisk etnografi, internationell affärskommunikation
National Category
General Language Studies and Linguistics Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-113418OAI: diva2:784843
Available from: 2015-01-31 Created: 2015-01-30 Last updated: 2015-01-31Bibliographically approved

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