The L1 advantage? :a comparison of L1/L2 speaking rates in ELF business meeting

Posted by jcm22 at Jan 16, 2019 01:10 PM |
8 May 2019 - Part of the Interdisciplinary Connections: Explorations in Research Methods seminar series, this paper reports on Dr Rogerson-Revell's study of variation in L1/L2 speech rate in authentic international business meetings.

Details

Date: Wednesday 8 May 2019
Time: 1.00pm-2.00pm
Location: ATT Seminar Block room 202 (TBC)

Co-ordinatorDr Anne Marie D'Arcy


Abstract

Speaker: Dr Pamela Rogerson-Revell

In many parts of the world today more and more professionals are conducting their everyday business in a second language (L2), ie English. Many would claim that this puts L1 English speakers at an advantage in international business interactions where English is used as a Lingua Franca (ELF). Indeed, my research has shown that some L2 English speakers in business meetings have inhibitions about participating or taking the floor from L1 English speakers (Rogerson-Revell 2007, 2014),

There may be many reasons for such frustrations but one consideration could be the extra time it takes to formulate a message in a second language. The cognitive demands of using a second language result in a slower rate of speech for most speakers (Munro & Derwing 1998; Derwing 1990). Such variations in speaking rate between L1 and L2 speakers may seem obvious, however, this issue has received relatively little attention, particularly regarding its impact in ELF contexts.

This paper reports on my study of variation in L1/L2 speech rate in authentic international business meetings. Preliminary findings suggest that L2 English speakers may well speak more slowly on average. The question arises, does this put them at a disadvantage in terms of participation and message content in such ELF contexts?


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